ANC mum on Zuma ahead of weekend NEC

2018-03-23 16:59
Ace Magashule. (The Witness)

Ace Magashule. (The Witness)

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ANC secretary general Ace Magashule would not be drawn into commenting on whether former president Jacob Zuma would be discussed at the ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Cape Town this weekend.

Zuma is facing fresh legal woes, with opposition parties going to court to force him to pay back the R15.3m spent on his corruption case. They also want the state not to pay for his upcoming trial. President Cyril Ramaphosa's office said he would study the merits of the court challenges before deciding if he will oppose the court challenge.

READ: Cyril: Presidency must continue to pay Zuma's legal fees as agreed

"No, we're still on the political overview - so I can't pre-empt anything," he told journalists outside the four-star Protea Fire & Ice Hotel in the Cape Town city centre, when asked if the meeting would discuss Zuma and recent events at the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

SARS commissioner Tom Moyane, believed to have been a staunch Zuma loyalist, was suspended on Monday and is to face disciplinary charges.

Asked if Zuma would campaign for the ANC given that the National Prosecuting Authority reinstated the corruption charges against him, Magashule said: "Just give us the space to do that, but as we have said, the two presidents [Zuma] and comrade Kgalema Motlanthe, must find space within the ANC to do that, and we will determine what work they must do."

The meeting will focus on the upcoming national elections in 2019, manifesto preparations, community engagement, internal renewal and the "roll on [of] the revolutionary pilgrimage programme," said Magashule.  

Overcoming factionalism

There will also be a report from the national working committee as the party prepares for list conferences that will determine who will represent the ANC in the various legislatures and the National Assembly after the elections.

However, at least two of the party's provinces are currently led by disputed interim structures, are deeply divided and have no date set for conferences to choose a leader. Another province, the Eastern Cape, is anxiously awaiting this sitting NEC to decide whether it should hold a conference.  

ALSO READ: Troubled provinces expected to come under scrutiny

"We are starting to adopt the conference guidelines and we are going to focus on the list process so that we don't enter that space late and that the structures are united on the ground and happy and satisfied with the ANC," said Magashule, referring to the party lists for the election.

He also touched on one of the themes of the December conference: Unity.

"No one should use our names as national executive committee members to further cause divisions," he said. The ANC is battling to recover from a divisive presidential race ahead of last year's December elective conference.  

"I think we are starting to dismantle whatever groupings there were before national conference.

"This is the time to make sure that we stay focused," Magashule said.

He said the party would also look at the "international space", particularly international relations in Africa, and how the party is moving forward on the resolutions it took at its national conference in December.

Read more on:    anc  |  ace magashule  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics

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