By Baldwin Ndaba
The ANC National Working Committee has ordered the immediate suspension of the ruling party’s secretary general Ace Magashule and other members facing criminal charges.
The ANC announced the outcome of its National Working Committee on Tuesday following their marathon meeting on Monday after some of the affected parties had apparently made appeals to senior leaders to stall the suspensions.
Among the key people affected by the decision includes Magashule, former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede; KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu and several others.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said on Tuesday that the National Working Committee has reaffirmed the decision of the NEC held from 26 – 29 March 2021 that all members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they should be suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC Constitution.
The rule provides that “where a public representative, office-bearer or member has been indicted to appear in a court of law on any charge, the Secretary General or Provincial Secretary, acting on the authority of the NEC, the NWC, the PEC or the PWC, if satisfied that the temporary suspension of such public representative, office-bearer or member would be in the best interest of the organisation, may suspend such public representative, elected office-bearer or member and impose terms and conditions to regulate their participation and conduct during the suspension.”
Mabe said the National Working Committee received reports from provinces on members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes, the status of their matters, whether the affected members have been informed of the decision of the NEC, and whether they have stepped aside.
“The NWC also received a report from the national officials, through a team led by the treasurer general Paul Mashatile, on proposed terms and conditions regulating the participation and conduct of members during the period that they step aside voluntarily.
“The affected member must update the relevant secretariat on a monthly basis regarding progress with their case. The decision by a member to step aside will be reviewed by the relevant structure of the organisation every six months,” Mabe said.
He said the National Working Committee has resolved that the decision of the last NEC must be implemented, saying those who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes and who have not stepped aside should be suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC Constitution.
“The NWC instructed that the necessary letters must be written to the affected members implementing this decision, and outlining the terms and conditions regulating their participation and conduct during the suspension,” Mabe said
He also confirmed that the top leadership of the ANC is considering the proposal for the establishment of an appeals committee to handle all related matters regarding the step aside policy. Political Bureau