ANALYSIS

Leave at your own chosen speed: An incomplete list of ANC luminaries who also should step aside with Ace

By Rebecca Davis 30 March 2021

Former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo (left) outside the Western Cape High Court after his appearance on 15 February 2021 in Cape Town. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach) | Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede appears at Durban Magistrates’ Court on 23 March 2021. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

The ANC’s National Executive Committee has given party members ‘who have been charged with corruption or serious crimes’ 30 days to step aside. Who other than Secretary-General Ace Magashule could be affected?

Following the decision of the ANC’s highest body that party members who face serious criminal charges must step aside, it was announced that the office of Secretary-General Ace Magashule will “work with the provinces to identify all people affected”.

As Daily Maverick discovered when trying to compile a list of all the cadres potentially affected by the resolution, this may be a time-consuming task.

There are a number of uncertainties around the resolution, which was originally adopted at Nasrec in 2017, but has never been uniformly implemented before now. The ANC statement announcing the implementation decision on Monday read simply:

“All members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they should be suspended.”

This wording is vague enough to give rise to questions like: What constitutes a “serious crime” in the ANC’s book?

To give one example, Rustenburg Mayor Mpho Khunou has been charged with harassment for sharing nudes of his ex.

To give another, Waterval Boven ANC councillor Themba Masha has been charged with an assault of a female police constable in December 2020 alongside six other men. The policewoman claims she was beaten to the ground.

If the ANC is intent on demonstrating its commitment to eradicating gender violence, charges like these should presumably fall within the ambit of “serious crimes”. It should go without saying that rape is a serious crime; there is an unknown number of ANC councillors currently charged with rape whose identities are not yet publicly known because they haven’t pleaded to the charges.

Another question: does the resolution apply to municipal officials within ANC-run municipalities? The Monday statement mentions only “members”; at the NEC meeting in August 2020, it was resolved that “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.”

These municipal officials may not be card-carrying ANC members, but they could perhaps be considered cadres. An example would be eThekwini city manager Sipho Nzuza, who is facing corruption charges alongside former mayor Zandile Gumede for a multimillion-rand waste contract. Nzuza is reportedly still receiving his city manager salary despite being out on bail after being rearrested for breaching his bail conditions.

Other cases seem more straightforward. Here follows an incomplete list of ANC figures who should be affected by the implementation of the step-aside resolution:

Former Durban mayor Zandile Gumede: Gumede has been charged with fraud and corruption for an unlawful 2017 waste tender costing taxpayers more than R400-million. Although she is no longer mayor, Gumede is serving as an ANC MPL in the provincial legislature after being cleared by the party’s Integrity Commission despite her ongoing court proceedings.

Former state security minister Bongani Bongo: In February, Bongo was acquitted of corruption under decidedly fishy circumstances for allegedly trying to collapse the Eskom parliamentary inquiry via bribery. His court proceedings are still technically ongoing, however, as the NPA has indicated its intention to appeal against the acquittal. As such, Bongo should step down as both an MP in the National Assembly and the chair of Parliament’s Home Affairs committee.

ANC KZN deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu: Mabuyakhulu has held on to his party position despite being criminally charged alongside 15 co-accused for defrauding provincial coffers of around R28-million for a jazz festival which never materialised. Like Gumede, Mabuyakhulu was cleared by the Integrity Commission, and the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) – which admitted to Daily Maverick last year that they hadn’t actually read his indictment.

Mike Mabuyakhulu, ANC deputy chair in KZN, reinstated despite facing fraud and corruption charges

Former Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba: Gomba was sacked from her position in February due to a string of scandals, including being charged with fraud, corruption and money-laundering over allegedly misleading the Buffalo City municipality into releasing millions of rands to prepare for Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Gomba remains a member of the Eastern Cape legislature.

Buffalo City regional chairperson Phumlani Mkolo and Amathole regional secretary Teris Ntuthu: The two, both charged with fraud and corruption, were asked by the ANC Eastern Cape’s PEC to step aside in March, but both refused to do so. Ntuthu said he would appeal against the decision nationally. Such an appeal should presumably not be entertained now.

ANC Limpopo Treasurer Danny Msiza: Msiza is one of the accused in the VBS bank saga. Msiza has held on to his significant ANC role while claiming the charges against him are politically manufactured – but, as amaBhungane recently reported, the indictment suggests that Msiza was at the heart of the scam to push municipalities to invest in the Venda bank. 

Former Mangaung mayor Olly Mlamleli: Sarah “Olly” Mlamleli appeared in court in October 2020 charged with helping defraud the Free State government of R255-million through an irregular asbestos audit deal. Mlamleli may not be mayor of Mangaung any more, but reportedly remains a member of the Free State PEC.

JB Marks Municipality Mayor Kgotso Khumalo: Khumalo has been charged for the theft of R5-million linked to the municipality. Despite calls from the opposition to step down, Khumalo has refused to do so.

ANC caucus leader in the Kouga municipality, Eldridge “Chico” Februarie: Februarie was arrested earlier this year on fraud charges as part of an EP rugby union corruption scandal. His status as of February was unclear, with the ANC saying he has stepped aside, but Februarie denying that this was the case. DM

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All Comments 34

  • What is the point of this charade. With so little certainty about the meaning of the statement they’ll all wriggle at taxpayers expense for the next 30 years. My bet is that not one ANC bigwig will go down. They’ll sacrifice a few small fry but that is the best we can hope for.

  • Is this really happening? Everyone is hopeful!?!? I’m not so sure that the ANC has the integrity to really apply this rule clinically. Surely everyone in the ANC know everybody else’s sceletons and have a hold on each other. I simply cannot see this.

  • cANCer at work. These names can just be the tip of the ice berg. Where is JZ? It would be great to see the full list, not forgetting the cANCerous member who were behind bars before and those who are spending time in jail right now. Leave those who should be there, it will take to long to compile.

    • Why is Supra Mahumapelo not on the list? Everything has gone quiet about him. A few years back he was in the news even more than Ace?

      • Great question Jehan… I could name a LOT more of these “alleged” thieves. How about Mosebenzi Zwane? R1 Billion housing project??
        Just read the book on VBS.. Most of those named have been redeployed and are still earning large salaries whilst the poor they stole from have NOTHING!
        DISGUSTING!

  • Nice Bob Dylan quote in the headline. A personal favourite.

    I’m choosing to believe that we have turned a corner and a major blow to the lack of accountability has been made. A friend once noted: “We are changed by what we witness and having been witnessed, we can never go back again”.

  • Makes me think of the old joke about a man who was applying for Australian citizenship, who when asked if he had a criminal record, replied that he didn’t realize that it was still a requirement. Crime syndicate masquerading as a political party?

  • @Charles Parr – if we don’t believe it, it won’t happen. Stay optimistic and hopeful. The NPA is working flat out, these criminals will go to jail.

    • Unfortunately I’ve just had too much experience of the civil service to ever hope that working flat out means actually achieving something. I’m sure Ace works flat out as did JZ and we can see the result of that.

    • And they offered to go (or ‘threatened’) if Ace was going to be given his marching orders. Great pity that that wasn’t welcomed immediately, doors swung open and the whole sad lot of them waved out!

  • The statement is weak to say the least. To say they “should” be suspended hardly means they “will be” suspended. Don’t hold your breath anyone.

  • Pretty depressing; but Dylan makes up for it. “I’m not the one you want, babe
    I’m not the one you need;
    You say you’re lookin’ for someone
    Who’s never weak but always strong
    To protect you an’ defend you
    Whether you are right or wrong…
    No, no, no, … It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe.

  • A veritable rogues gallery of misfits, thieves and degenerates. Not an iota of honesty, morals, ethics or integrity. Greedy rapacious thieves who have learnt from the thief in chief and his sidekicks. Jail them all and seize their assets as it is stolen from the country. Godless, evil scum!

  • If the ANC can not deal with known criminals in their midst how can they deal with the more complex problems of Escom and running the country.

  • Problem is that in the same way as the previous NP supporters, most of the populace votes with their hearts and not their heads , based on fake news and doubtful political ideology. Much like the Trump supporters

  • Reading through comments on articles like these, there are always comments imploring people to vote for another party. The question is which other party? There is not a single party out there that appeals to a large enough part of society to attract votes. So people will simply not vote.

  • Does anyone know if those who step aside without a fuss will receive better benefits than those who are suspended? I assume all of the above will be paid to sit at home but will some loose their Private Security and blue light thugs?

  • Ace Magashule will “work with the provinces to identify all people affected”. Right: so the head wolf will work with the other wolves to identify who has been marauding the sheep?

    • Well said. It is nothing but a laughable charade. In the words of R.W. Johnson, ” If the government was an animal the argument would be that it should be put out of its misery”.

  • Is it not the time to start a lobby group in Parliament, to have the massive pensions benefits withdrawn from the office bearers (across all levels of public service), including former Presidents, who are found guilty of crimes for stealing from the tax payer and the marginalized.

  • Interesting work & research done by A.Brief & K.Smith-Crowe/B.Ashforth & A.Vila’s done re normalisation of corruption within organizations. As ANC unwilling to sanction unethical behaviour, individuals working with them will continue to ‘indulge’ & seek narratives rationalising corruption.

    • Once entrenched, how to realize a solution & its application? Highlight cost of corruption, reward ethical behaviour, fundamental standards of integrity, speed up decision making… we need to demand this of any party.
      (Apologies: B.Ashforth & A.Vikas *sp)

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