SOUTH AFRICA, JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC)‘s integrity commission on Tuesday recommended that the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule step aside immediately.
Magashule refused to step aside when charges were brought forward, and the party obtained a legal opinion on the matter. The national executive committee resolved that officials must go back to the drawing board and formulate a framework on the issue.
The ANC secretary-general met with the integrity commission over the weekend.
In a report seen by Eyewitness News on Tuesday, the commission highlighted the ANC national executive committee’s (NEC) resolution of 6 to 8 August 2020, which read:
“Cadres of the ANC who are formally charged for corruption or other serious crimes must immediately step aside from all leadership positions in the ANC, legislatures, or other government structures pending the finalisation of their cases. The officials as mandated will develop guidelines and procedures on implementation, and the next NWC meeting will review progress. In cases where this has not happened, such individuals will be instructed to step aside.”
The NEC is the party’s highest decision-making structure between its conferences.
The commission also said in the report that Magashule indicated he would not resist the decision of the NEC, even if he might not agree with it. Led by George Mashamba, the commission said this was in line with decisions the ANC’s own national executive committee affirmed in August.
It also documents the meeting and Magashule’s understanding of his responsibilities as a member of the party, this includes the ANC’s rules and constitution, his own role as a leader, and most importantly, that of the national executive committee.
Mashamba said Magashule committed to stepping down if instructed to do so by the NEC. Mashamba also described Magashule’s brief as thorough and comprehensive, saying the secretary-general arrived prepared.
It is now up to the party’s officials to process the outcomes of this meeting while the country watches on.
Mashamba further said that Magashule underscored that he was a disciplined member of the party. The report asserted too that:
- he was bound by the decisions of the collective;
- he would “step aside” if so instructed by the NEC;
- he understood the ANC Constitution, its rules and code of conduct;
- he had a clear understanding of the seniority of his position as the ANC’s Chief Administrative Officer and guardian of the principles and values of the ANC enshrined in the ANC Constitution;
- he understood his responsibilities to ensure that all structures of the organisation perform according to its Constitution and its policies;
- he understood his role to protect and uphold the values that have enabled the ANC for the last 108 years to have earned the credibility and legitimacy necessary to lead the country; and
- he was clear that the ANC was a voluntary organisation and therefore its members are bound by its Constitution.