Following a dramatic week that saw embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule suspended as well as his counter-suspension of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) will meet this weekend.
Sparks are expected to fly as the 80-member structure meets virtually via Zoom.
At the top of the agenda will be the implementation of the step aside resolution adopted at the ANC’s 2017 national conference.
The resolution requires all ANC members charged with corruption and other serious crimes to step down from their positions pending the finalisation of their court cases.
So far, ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu and the mayor of JB Marks Municipality in the North West, Kgotso Khumalo, have voluntarily stepped down from their posts due to their ongoing criminal charges.
However, Magashule remains defiant that he is still the party’s secretary-general and said he would appeal his “factional and unconstitutional” suspension. He faces multiple charges of fraud and corruption in connection with a multimillion-rand asbestos audit contract in the Free State.
Under the terms of his suspension, Magashule has been barred from representing the ANC or mobilising any of its structures, but he will be entitled to his full salary.
Many political pundits will be closely watching the response of Magashule’s allies and his radical economic transformation (RET) faction.
Ramaphosa ‘suspension’ to be discussed
Magashule sent shockwaves after he ordered Ramaphosa to step down as ANC leader because of allegations of vote buying during his 2017 ANC presidential campaign, known as CR17.
Magashule confirmed his letter was indeed legitimate and it was Ramaphosa, in fact, who had been suspended by the NEC.
Ramaphosa reportedly told the ANC’s parliamentary caucus on Thursday he had received Magashule’s letter with “shock and a measure of dismay”.
While numerous senior ANC leaders have disputed Magashule’s authority to suspend Ramaphosa, the president apparently wants the special NEC meeting to deal with this.
The structure that implements the decisions of the NEC, the national working committee (NWC), indicated that the NEC will discuss the various reports of the integrity commission, which makes findings on members accused of bringing the ANC into disrepute.
The NEC will also discuss proposals for the establishment of an appeals panel to hear the appeals of ANC members affected by the step aside resolution and the decisions of the integrity commission.