It’s been reported that the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) has failed to reach a decision on the party’s “step aside” guidelines, which could see ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and others facing criminal charges being asked to vacate their positions.
The NEC, the ANC’s highest decision-making body in between conferences met virtually at the weekend and is said to have descended into chaos late on Sunday when Magashule disagreed with the decision by the NEC that he and other leaders charged with corruption and other crimes should step aside within seven days or face suspension, News24 reported.
According to the report, one of Magashule’s staunchest supporters, NEC member Tony Yengeni, also opposed the decision which apparently led to heckling among NEC party members.
“The meeting was almost done. The decision of the NEC was read out and then Ace said no. That is how the chaos began,” a source told the online publication.
The ANC integrity committee recommended last year Magashule should step aside to respect a Nasrec conference decision that all members facing malfeasance charges should do so.
Magashule faces corruption charges for his alleged role in the multimillion-rand asbestos audit contract scandal in the Free State. He is out on R200,000 bail and faces 21 charges of fraud and corruption.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to deliver the NEC’s closing address at 6pm on Sunday but that was postponed indefinitely.
Top six officials hold separate meeting
According to a report from EWN, the ANC’s top six officials held their own separate meeting due to the impasse over the “step aside” rules.
After their meeting concluded they reportedly asked for 14 days to consult on the matter, but this was rejected by some NEC members. The meeting will apparently continue on Monday.
Meanwhile, political analyst Ongama Mtimka said the postponement of Ramaphosa’s closing address indicated that factional battles in the governing party had weakened the organisation.
“I think it is because of the challenges of having a unified outcome from that meeting, which itself is systematic of the fact that factional battles in the ANC have now reached the point they have become untenable,” Mtimka told SABC News.
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