Ace Magashule has 30 days to step down


ANC members facing criminal charges have been given 30 days to step down from the positions within the party, the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), its highest decision-making body in between conferences, has decided.

Those facing charges could use the 30 day period to consult and seek guidance but the decision for stepping down stands, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa announced last night.

Ramaphosa revealed that the party’s secretary general, Ace Magashule, who is facing criminal charges, would use the 30 days to consult with former presidents of the party.

Ramaphosa said: “All members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they should be suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution. The meeting emphasised that the 30 day period will be to enable the implementation of the decision in line with the guidelines, not to review the decision.

“The NEC also agreed that the provincial chairpersons and secretaries would meet with the national officials during that time to further refine the guidelines to ensure the resolution can be effectively and practically implemented.  The secretary general’s office will work with the provinces to identify all people affected and inform them of the decision.

“The NEC welcomed the decision by the ANC Secretary General Cde Ace Magashule to use this time to seek the counsel of past leaders of the movement. The NEC called on all ANC members to rally around this decision and not to engage in any acts of indiscipline, including through mobilisation or public statements that undermine implementation of the conference resolution.”

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This decision by the NEC is a major victory for the Ramaphosa faction within the ANC, which faced serious opposition from the faction supporting Magashule during the four day meeting. 

In another victory for Ramaphosa, the NEC also took a hard stance and disowned a faction within the ANC calling itself the “RET Forces”. The “RET Forces” are a faction within the ANC which has openly supported Magashule and former ANC president Jacob Zuma. 

“The NEC therefore condemned the establishment of groups operating as an organised faction within the ANC to undermine the ideological and organisational integrity of the ANC. The NEC warned those who wish to subvert the ANC by seeking to create diversions that we will not tolerate meddling in the internal affairs of the ANC or the use of ANC resources to undertake counter-revolutionary activities from within its structures and facilities.

“The meeting agreed that no ANC member should associate themselves with or be involved in the so-called ‘RET Forces’. Furthermore, the NEC will not allow will not allow any member of the ANC staff to use the resources and premises of the ANC to hold meetings of the RET or any other faction. In terms of Rule 25.9 of the ANC Constitution on ‘Institution of disciplinary proceedings’, the NEC directs the Presenter of the ANC to investigate these matters and, if deemed necessary, immediately formulate charges for the attention of the National Disciplinary Committee,” Ramaphosa said.

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He said the ANC NEC had noted the emergence of social movements, which include prominent ANC stalwarts, with the expressed desire to defend SA’s constitutional democracy. “The NEC called on all ANC members to also ensure that they actively participate in the structures and processes of the movement to advance their views,” he said.

Without mentioning his name, the ANC NEC also slapped down Zuma by distancing itself from attacks on the judiciary and expressing support for the judicial commission of inquiry chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Ramaphosa said: “The NEC discussed the need to support and strengthen all institutions that contribute to the advancement of our constitutional democracy. While no arm of the state is above criticism, the ANC distances itself from attacks on the judiciary that seek to undermine its legitimacy and impugn its decisions. Our Constitution provides sufficient safeguards against the abuse of power by any arm of the state, and any person who has evidence of any misdemeanour or abuse should make use of the available remedies.

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The NEC reaffirmed the decision of its 54th National Conference to support the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture. It therefore reiterated its support for the work of the Zondo Commission and called on all ANC members and supporters – and indeed all members of society – to assist the commission in its work.

Several ANC leaders have made or are scheduled to make submissions to the Commission. President Cyril Ramaphosa will be appearing before the Commission on 22-23 April in his capacity as the current ANC President and former ANC Deputy President.

The NEC views its submission as necessary to the work of the Commission and important for the broader effort to confront state capture and ensure that such activities are never allowed to happen again. The NEC noted that the Presiding officers of Parliament, who are ANC deployees, are also due to appear before the Commission.”

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