Magashule to appear before ANC integrity commission as push to drive him out fails ... for now

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Ace Magashule during a media briefing in 2018. Picture: Gallo Images/Sunday Times/Alon Skuy
Ace Magashule during a media briefing in 2018. Picture: Gallo Images/Sunday Times/Alon Skuy


ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has agreed to appear before the governing party’s integrity commission on Saturday following deliberations at the three-day national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

This follows a tense NEC meeting, held since Sunday, that was expected to decide whether or not Magashule should step aside from his position because he is facing corruption charges in court.

But the party appears to have opted for a more neutral solution – of him appearing before the integrity commission – as it grapples with the legal standing of the step aside resolution.

READ: ANC drawn into R261 million royal rivalry

“The meeting welcomed the secretary-general’s decision to present himself to the integrity commission on December 12.

The officials shall process the outcomes of this engagement and the determination by the commission and report to the national working committee and the NEC,” said ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa at the end of the meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, the NEC had debated Magashule’s fate in light of the charges he faces after he was implicated in the multimillion-rand asbestos matter in the Free State.

We confirm the firm stance we have taken on corruption and wrongdoing within our ranks and within society
ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa, in his closing remarks of the virtual NEC gathering, emphasised that the party would not tolerate anyone who committed crimes.

“We have reaffirmed several important principles. We confirm the firm stance we have taken on corruption and wrongdoing within our ranks and within society. There will be no dilution of the position we have taken,” he said.

The party had sought the opinions of various legal minds to determine whether Magashule should step aside until the end of the corruption trial.

Ramaphosa reiterated that it was important to implement the mandate of the 54th national conference and the decisions made by the NEC.

READ: Cyril goes or Ace stays: Showdown expected at ANC NEC meeting as factions clash

He said that these were fundamental to the renewal of the governing party and to the restoration of its credibility among South Africans.

“We will be consistent and even-handed in the application of these decisions and will ensure that fair and due process is followed.

We have agreed that, in order to give effect to these decisions, the officials will finalise the guidelines that will be applied in instances where members of the organisation are formally charged with, convicted of or reported to be involved in corruption or other serious crimes,” the ANC president said.

Ramaphosa promised that the ANC would have no restraint from implementing these resolutions. But he assured members that the party would be fair in how it dealt with its members.

He then went on to preach about party unity and shot down rumours that there were sharp divisions during the meeting. He said the gathering did not “sharpen factions”, contrary to some reports.

The meeting had assisted in reaching common ground and added that there were “no walk-outs or punch-outs” by members, he said.

The NEC also resolved that a state-owned pharmaceutical company would be established to ensure that Africa has access to developing its own medicines.

Ramaphosa added that Africa should play a role in finding cures for diseases such as the Covid-19 coronavirus.

READ: Ace Magashule rallies two factions

Meanwhile, the long overdue ANC Youth League elective congress will be in March next year, the party announced.

The national youth task team must now ensure that this congress goes ahead.

The league, which has been without leadership for years, was supposed to have its elective congress earlier this year.

But the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak forced another postponement. 


Queenin Masuabi 

Political Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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