It looks like our two main political parties are cleaning house ahead of the municipal elections on 27 October.
With never-ending stories of corruption, both the ANC and the DA appear keen to give its electorate the impression that it is serious about the scourge.
For now, at least.
The DA got rid of its Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela last week.
He quit as both provincial leader and MEC for Transport and Public Works, after the scandal involving his tertiary qualifications; or lack thereof, in this case.
His partner – Nomafrench Mbombo – resigned as the federal leader of the DA Women's Network on the same day, but she stays on as provincial Health MEC.
The ANC’s National Working Committee is supposed to meet today, ahead of its top executives meeting over the coming weekend to decide on the next steps for all its wayward politicians.
ANC members facing criminal court cases are expected to step aside over the next two weeks, until their names have been cleared.
It was supposed to have happened by the weekend, but it’s being held up by the party’s procedural matters.
It’s almost comical to see how many of them are now scurrying around to find ways to hang on to their high-paying jobs, at the expense of their party’s image.
In fact, the ANC’s National Chairman Gwede Mantashe has been very clear that these members must put the party’s reputation above their own needs.
So it turns out that the ANC is finally forced to acknowledge the importance of image and reputation and rely less on the emotional attachment that its diehard voters have to the party.
Make no mistake, the party’s leaders have noticed a voter pattern that greatly disturbs them, and that included them losing coveted regions, like Gauteng, Tshwane and the Western Cape.
It doesn’t take a political genius to see that, at this rate, the ruling party is at a real risk of being voted out of power completely.
There’s only so much that even the ANC’s most loyal grassroots supporters can take.
I reckon the party has pinned this squarely on public perceptions that ANC leaders are either unwilling, or unable to root out corruption that enriches individuals and keeps the majority of citizens in poverty.
And it’s something that the party is obviously no longer willing to sweep under the carpet.
Armed with this clarity and damage-control urgency, the party’s national spokesperson Pule Mabe was able to put it like this: “…if we do not do that, we could be self-liquidating.”
He added: “”The organisation has desires of instilling and enforcing a sense of a moral character,” implying that it’s something that has been missing in certain members.
The corruption issue is being taken so seriously (as it should), that Cyril Ramaphosa has the distinction of being the first sitting president in our history to subject himself to a commission of inquiry, which is tasked with getting to the bottom of State Capture.
And while addressing Ramaphosa, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo made an interesting observation when he asked why the ANC couldn’t take action against suspected criminal members, before a court had ruled on their guilt or innocence.
The judge had several other critical comments around how the party had dragged its feet on State Capture and members who had been implicated by colleagues and the media.
It’s going to be interesting to hear Rampahosa’s testimony in his capacity as head of state next month.
Meanwhile, the job of putting together the final list of those being temporarily booted, belongs to the party’s secretary general, Ace Magashule – whose name ironically appears at the top somewhere (presuming it is in alphabetical order).
It’s not clear how many ANC members will be forced to step aside.
But what is clear is this: If those accused of fraud and corruption are found guilty, then that shouldn’t be the end of it.
These men and women pocketed millions of rands, at our expense and (if the party is serious about repairing its public image) then they cannot be left to live their lives in luxury, courtesy of our taxes. They must be pursued.
The money must be recovered by any means necessary.
Even if the sheriff of the court has to auction off all the possessions they bought with our money, so be it.
I think that’s an image of justice that most of us can live with.