NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Ace Magashule’s appearance before Integrity Commission an act of courage, says ANC’s spokesperson

By Sandisiwe Shoba 10 December 2020

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule. (Photo: Gallo Images / Esa Alexander)

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule’s upcoming appearance before the ANC Integrity Commission was praised as an act of courage by ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe at a briefing on the outcomes of the ANC NEC meeting from 6-8 December. Despite calls for Magashule to step aside, he remains the governing party’s secretary-general.

“The secretary-general of the ANC has volunteered to appear before the Integrity Commission. This is an act of courage that he has taken by himself. Something that the entire National Executive Committee, including the president, has commended him for,” said the ANC’s Pule Mabe. 

Mabe was addressing a briefing on Thursday on the outcomes of the ANC NEC meeting from 6-8 December.

An embattled Ace Magashule is facing corruption charges after a warrant for his arrest was issued in November in connection with the R255-million asbestos audit contract in the Free State.

Magashule, who is set to appear before the commission on 12 December, briefed the media on outcomes from the party’s final National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting for the year. 

Mabe had seemingly stepped in to defend Magashule from journalists’ queries about whether he would recuse himself from NEC meetings in January that would discuss the outcome of his appearance before the Integrity Commission. 

Daily Maverick recently reported that Magashule will not step aside as party secretary-general, but will voluntarily appear before the Integrity Commission — a decision agreed upon by the NEC. This is despite the party’s rule, introduced at its 2017 National Conference, that members facing corruption charges or such allegations should both step down from their positions and “present themselves” to the party’s Integrity Commission.

The call was reiterated in a bold statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the party in August. 

The NEC resolved that guidelines to implement the step-aside rule should be considered and adopted by the committee in early 2021. Until then, it seems Magashule will remain in his position. 

“The National Executive Committee reaffirmed that as a voluntary organisation, the ANC follows its constitution, rules, conference resolutions, NEC decisions and must under all circumstances operate within the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the laws of the land,” said Magashule.

Three legal opinions tabled at the meeting said that the party could not force leaders to step aside as this went against the constitutional legal principle of being innocent until proven guilty.

But the step-aside rule has been implemented inconsistently. While Magashule remains fixed in his position, the president’s spokesperson Khusela Diko was instructed to step aside after controversial PPE contracts were awarded to her husband, Thandisizwe Diko. ANC MP, Bongani Bongo, on the other hand, has refused to step down after he was accused of corruption.  

“The NEC stressed in dealing with all these matters of integrity and corruption, that remedial action should be applied in an even-handed manner to all members at every level of the organisation. It noted that any inconsistent application of the rules and the constitution of the ANC will undermine the unity of the movement,” said Magashule.

Late on Thursday, ANC’s Integroty Commission issued a following statement:

The ANC Integrity Commission can confirm that it will be engaging with the Secretary-General of the ANC, Cde Elias Ace Magashule; on Saturday 12 December 2020.

It is important to note that the Commission is a structure of the NEC, is accountable to the NEC, and totally respects its processes and procedures.

We would therefore like to point out the following to the media:

• We will not respond to any media queries or speculative comment before or during the engagement.

• Once the engagement has been completed, we will issue a statement confirming that it has happened and outlining the process that is to be followed.

We would appreciate the cooperation of the media throughout this process.

We understand the level of public interest, not just among the membership of the ANC but in society at large, but are duty-bound to respect protocol and process to ensure an outcome that is in line with our mandate. DM

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  • ……if it smells like a smokescreen, if it sounds like a smokescreen, if it smokes like a smokescreen, if it feels like a smokescreen, if it is engineered like a smokescreen………the chances are that it is………another fleece being pulled over the eyes of all South Africans and a another coverup of monumental proportions, designed to disguise the way the ruling party gets it’s funds!

  • It just demonstrates how rotten the government party is. Admiring someone who has been charged for corruption as courageous for facing an internal commission, is a slap to the face of every right-thinking South African.

  • Big deal and amounts to ZERO! What a load of hogwash about courage!! Just another cop-out to obfuscate highly criminal conduct by a senior member of the anc. Another brain-dead halfwit from the governing party spewing absolute nonsense!! Magashule should be tried and jailed like every other normal citizen in this country. The impunity and sense of entitlement of these morons is beyond belief.

  • The problem is, Logesh, that the masses are stupid and they believe it. Stupid in the sense that they are gullible, ignorant and have blind loyalty to a party/movement that doesn’t exist. Long gone is the ANC of Mandela, Luthuli, Tambo etc. This anc is a criminal syndicate of theft, corruption, deceit etc. of the zuma, magashule, zwane and all the many other crooks and criminals that fester its ranks. It is rotten to the core!

  • The integrity commission is an oxymoron – insiders policing themselves . How many people have been jailed for a long time as a result of findings of the integrity commission – ZERO – This is an internal party charade – off to the headmaster for a slap on the wrist . What a national embarrassment for the ruling party and our country in general . Please read how Lee Kwan yew turned Singapore from a nation of swamp rats to the shining light of south east Asia in one generation , and then hang your heads in shame . The demise of SA is everyone in SOE’S involved in procurement or payment – they delay everything trying to steer the process to their connections who will offer the biggest backhanders . That is why what would take a commercial enterprise 3 hours to decide takes years hence slow service delivery . The problem is simple . The government should have minimal staffing to decide how the taxpayers money should be spent in the most cost effective way for the benefit of the citizens. We have an over staffed government that decides how much of taxpayers money can find its way into their pockets. As an old man without a pension , I still dream of seeing good men and women stand for what is right vs what is expedient for the sake of millions of citizens that want a safe , secure and level playing field where we can all work together to build this nation.

  • When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan,
    By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.
    Proverbs 29: 2 and 4.
    South Africa’s current state in a nutshell.

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