The African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) has now also removed its MP and former state security minister Bongani Bongo from the party’s special virtual meeting.
This comes after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule was also kicked out of the meeting earlier on Saturday.
The special meeting – which is taking place virtually from Saturday to Monday – will see the NEC discussing matters relating to the 2017 Nasrec conference step aside resolution, Covid-19, the upcoming local government elections and the integrity commission’s reports.
While several news outlets are reporting that corruption-accused Bongo was given the boot from the meeting, it is unclear at this stage what the removal from the meeting means.
However, it seems likely that Bongo was removed from the meeting after he signalled his intention to appeal the NEC’s decision forcing him to step aside following in the footsteps of Magashule.
Speaking to the EWN, Magashule explained that he was removed from the meeting, which “he had convened” and attended for over an hour, after which the NEC noted his intention to appeal his suspension.
‘I’m not corrupt and never will be’
In March, Bongo claimed that he was not corrupt and would never be corrupt.
The MP, who was cleared of bribery and corruption by the Western Cape High Court in February, is currently facing charges of corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering for his alleged role linked to dubious land deals in Mpumalanga amounting to almost R124 million.
The case dates back to the time when he was an official in the Mpumalanga provincial government.
Asked on whether he was ready to step aside, the MP said that a court of law would decide his fate if it came to him being suspended.
“I have to this extent appealed this decision that was taken by the NEC. I am sure my appeal will be entertained,” Bongo told eNCA.
Step aside rule
On Tuesday, ANC’s national working committiee (NWC) reaffirmed a decision of the national executive committee (NEC) in March 2021 that all members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days.
The NEC had resolved to implement the party’s 2017 Nasrec conference resolution.
This is a developing story. More to follow.