We cannot 'summon' Magashule over corruption claims - ANC integrity commission

2019-04-03 12:03

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule will not appear before the party's integrity committee unless its national executive committee (NEC) decides he should do so.

This is according to integrity committee chairperson George Mashamba, who told News24 that the committee had no powers to summon him in order to assess the impact that claims made against him had on the governing party.

READ: No retraction from ANC but Magashule must handle corruption claims on his own

His comments follow a decision by the NEC to refer its entire list of candidates nominated to serve in the National Assembly and in provincial legislatures to the integrity committee.

The committee serves to investigate the impact of members' behaviour on the party's reputation.

Previously, the ANC had said it wanted to submit some names to the committee, but failed to follow through.

Review

The party has been lambasted for allowing some of its controversial leaders – who are facing allegations of corruption and who have been implicated during the commission of inquiry into state capture – to feature on the list, which has already been submitted to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

The ANC, in a statement following a special NEC sitting, said the lists would be sent to the committee for a "review".

In a statement, Magashule said the ANC had gone above and beyond the legal requirements set out by the country's Constitution.

"The ANC set an even higher bar, removing all candidates with criminal records (not just for five years, but longer) and subjected all its candidates to a vetting process," he said.

While insisting that South Africans had expressed happiness with the party during its door-to-door campaigns, he said they wanted the list to represent the ANC's "spirit of renewal and integrity".

"As a further measure, therefore, the NEC has referred its lists in their totality to its integrity [committee] for review, within the ambit of the list guidelines, the rules of natural justice and the 54th conference resolutions," said Magashule.

Terms of reference

Meanwhile Mashamba, who had wished for the integrity committee to become more proactive when he took over, has said its terms of reference do not allow it to pick just anyone to appear before it.

"The committee can only summon people who have been referred to it by the ANC NEC. Every committee is limited to the terms of reference given to it and established by its political principle," Mashamba said.

Magashule dominated news headlines on Sunday amid claims of corruption in a newly-released book by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh titled Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's Web of Capture. The book places Magashule at the centre of state capture in the Free State government.

READ: Gangster State book will not be withdrawn amid political pressure - publishers

The ANC secretary general has refused to share his thoughts on the matter, saying he would be seeking legal advice. The ANC has also questioned a decision to release a statement on his behalf over the weekend, which questioned the book and the newspapers who carried stories based on claims made in Myburgh's book.

ANC acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete encouraged the investigative journalist to take whatever proof he had of Magashule's alleged corruption to law enforcement agencies.

Read more on:    anc  |  ace magashule  |  state capture  |  corruption  |  politics
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