The African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) is expected to spend a day discussing integrity and morality as it seeks to find ways to deal with members facing criminal charges.
The party’s previous resolution taken during the 2017 elective conference – and reiterated recently for members facing corruption and other serious charges to step aside – has been subjected to different legal opinions, some of which say it cannot be enforced.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who also faces corruption charges, has already stated that he would not vacate his office.
He is facing corruption charges with 21 counts linked to the asbestos project during his tenure as premier of the Free State.
ANC stalwart Matthews Phosa, advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Makhudo Tshivase, and Gcina Malindi are some of the legal minds who have attempted to give guidance to the ANC on how to deal with the issue of calling implicated members to step aside.
Eyewitness News has seen at least two of the reports, with Phosa warning that the party’s constitution has not been amended to reflect it.
While Tshivase suggests the party can’t disregard the rights of elected leaders by removing them if and when it wants to, Magashule told Eyewitness News the NEC, which is the highest decision-making body in between conferences, will deal with the matter.
“All of us have a right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law. We’re discussing this matter and I leave to the leadership of the ANC.”
This week, News24 reported that Malindi’s opinion said the party could ask those charged with serious crimes to step aside as a temporary suspension.
‘NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT’
While the ANC prepares for its last NEC meeting for the year on Sunday, Magashule said he had nothing to worry about.
He told Eyewitness News he was not worried – even by a push within to oust him.
“I’m not worried at all, I shouldn’t even worry about my future. It is determined by the ANC itself.”
While there are resolutions calling for those facing serious charges to step aside, Magashule argues the commitments made in 2017 do not supersede the ANC and the country’s Constitutions
“The resolutions are there and they are part of politics, the party constitution as well as the country’s Constitution.”
The integrity commission will also be discussed; some factions want it strengthened while another argues its being used to drive political opponents out of leadership.
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