ANALYSIS

Ruling on Ace: Integrity Commission’s spine was strengthened by three new appointees

By Ferial Haffajee 17 December 2020

13112020 News-Supporters of Ace Magashule secretary general of ANC,Tony Yengeni and Mzwandile Masina outside court before appearing at the Bloemfontein Magistrate court for the free state asbestos corruption,scores of his supporters are outside to support him case.Photo:Felix Dlangamandla/Daily Maverick

However, there’s still radio silence from the party’s National Executive Committee on whether or not the secretary-general will step aside.

The three new appointees to the ANC’s Integrity Commission are likely to be the reason the committee made a no-holds-barred finding that the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) should instruct Secretary-General Ace Magashule to step aside.

The three-page report on the Magashule issue, written after he met the 11-member Integrity Commission at the weekend, also makes key findings on the quality of the NEC’s principles and decision-making, and says that it cannot find solace in protecting a false unity if that unity is not based on good values. 

No space to wriggle free: Ace’s strategy fails as the Integrity Commission insists he must step aside 

This is the first time the Integrity Commission has made such an unequivocal report. At the ANC’s August 2020 special anti-corruption meeting, it agreed to bolster the commission, and it appears that the three new appointees helped to strengthen the spine of the body of elders. 

The three are: former ambassador Thandi Rankwe, Nkele Ntingane and  Terrence Tryon.  All three are party veterans, and Rankwe spoke out in the worst years of the administration of Jacob Zuma when State Capture kneecapped South Africa.  Ntingane is a former Johannesburg councillor, while Tryon is a long-time ANC member who was secretary-general of the venerated African Teachers Organisation back in the day. 

None of them take nonsense. The Integrity Commission is chaired by George Mashamba, a former member of Limpopo’s provincial legislature and a professor of philosophy. He stood against Ngoako Ramatlhodi as Limpopo provincial chairperson in 1996 and won.  At the time, it was a shock win and a clear message to the NEC that it could not dictate leaders to the provinces. 

Mashamba is an independent spirit and fearless about standing up to power, as he has now stood up to Magashule, the quintessential ANC strongman.  There are others on the commission who are renowned for being individuals of high integrity, like Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa who was Tshwane mayor and is one of South Africa’s beloved clerics and leaders. Sophia de Bruyn, a participant in the anti-pass Women’s March on the Union Buildings in 1956, is also of the generation of ANC leaders with old-style political morality and values.  

With 11 members now, the Integrity Commission is stronger. It has nailed its anti-corruption colours to the mast with the report on Magashule, which has found that if he does not step aside on instruction by the NEC, he should be suspended.  

But there is still radio silence from the party and spokesperson Pule Mabe has kicked the issue into touch, saying that Magashule remains party boss and that nothing is likely to happen before Christmas. The Integrity Commission’s findings are not binding, although President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he thinks they should be. DM

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All Comments 7

  • Well done to the Integrity Commission for standing up to true values and putting the country first. Whilst the rotten and putrid new anc continues to protect the most odious, corrupt and evil monsters in their midst, the day will come when justice will be served. It cannot come too soon.

  • The ANC is obviously beyond redemption in its current form. Every South African knows that it is an organisation divided with the grand thieves and looters on the one side and, apparently, the less self-serving on the other. If the president’s faction is serious about saving the country, they should admit to themselves that the party needs to split formally so that the necessary policy decisions can be taken. There is no time any longer for this ridiculous pretence of unity to persist while it causes paralysis that stops the roll back of economically suicidal policy decisions and cripples the state from bringing the criminals to justice.

  • The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity. Without it no real success is possible. – US commander and former President Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • The extraordinary volume of noise calling for Ace to “step aside” hides, for me, an unfortunate truth: DM, the media and the Zondo commission hearings show, on a daily basis, that the ANC leadership is corrupt to the core at all levels of government, indicating that the wholesale “stepping aside” of its entire current leadership will merely create a vacuum for the next layer of corrupt leaders to move up. The ANC will never rid itself of corrupt cadres.

    • Fully agree Ben. For the last few weeks all media devoted a lot of space and airtime to this Ace chap. For many years we have known how corrupt he, and other ANC cadres are. Yet neither the ANC, or the NPA, has done much. I do not expect this to change at all, not as long as they remain in power….and that is likely to be indefinitely

  • There are still good people in the ANC, the true veterans NOT clown Carl and his gang. Sadly though their voices get muted by the thugs and bottom feeders that make up the majority.
    I see a glimmer of hope, but a very dim glimmer. This news comes at the same time as the KZN ANC reinstates their most prolific alleged thief. If she can be reinstated what chance have we got that Ace is going to do the honourable thing?
    Not holding my breath on this one.. Stalingrad II here we go

  • I apologise for repeating myself, but I truly believe it’s important for all of us to understand the “big picture” about so called democracy in Africa. Please get hold of a copy of Martin Meredith’s book ” The State of Africa”, it explains it all so clearly, from 1957 on, starting with Ghana, how the same story has unfolded in each post-Colonial country in Africa. The news for SA is not good. The best weapon is information…. get informed.

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