The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) must suspend its secretary-general Ace Magashule if he does not step aside after being charged with corruption, the party’s Integrity Commission has decided.
The Integrity Commission of the ANC has recommended to the NEC, its highest decision-making body between conferences, that it immediately implement the so-called “step-aside” rule where leaders charged with a criminal offence must step down from their positions.
In a whistle-fast, 3-page finding made after Magashule met the Integrity Commission on Saturday, 12 December, the Integrity Commission said that the party’s reputation was being harmed in the public eye and that Magashule must do as he told them he would: “never resist the decision of the NEC even if he might not agree with it”.
The NEC decision of August 2020 says “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 party’s national executives in August instructed the officials at Luthuli House to develop step-aside guidelines but in over 100 days they did not do so.
The Integrity Commission has said that even in the absence of these, Magashule can be instructed to step aside.
The ANC now has to call an emergency national working committee meeting or a broader national executive committee meeting to deal with the Integrity Commission report. Magashule told the Integrity Commission at its meeting on Saturday that he would step aside if instructed by the NEC.
Media reports on Sunday alleged that the Integrity Commission had been persuaded by Magashule’s version of events and that no immediate action would be recommended against him. Those reports appear to have been disinformation. DM