ANC NEC hears calls for Magashule to step aside, but his allies want more consultation

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ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
  • The ANC NEC meeting heard open calls for secretary-general Ace Magashule to step aside. 
  • News24 understands that Ronald Lamola and Barbara Creecy have called for Magashule to vacate his office. 
  • The virtual meeting heard debate around the guidelines on the ANC's step-aside policy, sources said.

The ANC's national executive committee (NEC) meeting has on Saturday heard calls for secretary-general Ace Magashule to vacate his office.

News24 understands NEC members Ronald Lamola and Barbara Creecy clearly called for the NEC to adopt the ANC integrity committee report on Magashule which instructs him to step aside given he faces 21 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering. 

NEC members were debating on Saturday afternoon guidelines for the party's step-aside policy presented earlier by ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile. 

According to those guidelines - the brainchild of a task team led by Matthews Phosa, Kgalema Motlanthe and other ANC veterans - party leaders charged with corruption should step aside. 

If they do so, they should be subjected to the commission which will appraise matters. 

READ | Balance of power: ANC NEC meets, who will step aside?

If a recommendation of the commission for party leaders to step aside is ignored, the guidelines recommend that the NEC then suspends that leader. 

Supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa argued the guidelines should be adopted, with Lamola arguing this must apply to Magashule, News24 understands. 

Creecy is said to have argued that while the party deals with the step-aside guidelines, Magashule must step aside. He is appearing in court on Friday in relation to the Free State asbestos case. 

The commission recommended in December that Magashule must comply with an NEC decision that party leaders who are charged with corruption should step aside. He has defied that since.

But sources said Magashule's supporters insisted the guidelines needed further consultation with branches. 

A source said:
"Many of Ace's supporters realised they can't fight the guidelines. So what they saying is that they need to first go talk to branches about this before any decision was taken."

Another source said some of Magashule's supporters argued that because Mashatile's report noted that the ANC's constitution and resolutions were not consistent with the Constitution of the Republic, the matter must be dealt with before the guidelines were implemented. 

"People like Dakota Legoete and Pule Mabe argued that the guidelines can't be implemented if it is going to change," a source said. 

Insiders said Magashule heard spirited support, with some NEC members saying if he had to step aside then "half or even 80% of the NEC" must step aside because they were all facing allegations. 

Other supporters of Magashule are said to have argued that the NEC must not be in a hurry to implement the guidelines around the ANC's step-aside policy. 

Earlier in his address, Ramaphosa said the matter around the guidelines should be dealt with "maturity". 

He raised concerns about the risk to the credibility of the ANC and the need for a resolution on the matter. 

Sources said Ramaphosa's supporters argued in the meeting that the guidelines should be adopted and be treated as a "living document".

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