Jessie Duarte accuses Magashule and his supporters of wanting to bring the ANC down

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Jessie Duarte.
Jessie Duarte.
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  • Jessie Duarte says those who are charged criminally should step down from ANC positions.
  • Duarte also blames Ace Magashule's faction for leaking recordings of high-level ANC meetings.
  • She says Magashule's supporters have a "Samson approach", and are trying to bring the entire party down.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has thrown her weight behind calls for the party's criminally-charged secretary-general Ace Magashule to step aside.

On Thursday, she told Eyewitness News' Tshidi Madia, who quoted her in a tweet as saying: "As far as I'm concerned, if you have been charged criminally, the NEC (the ANC's national executive committee) has decided that you have 30 days in which to decide whether you are going to step aside or not, after which the ANC's constitution will kick in."

READ | Don't even try defying! Ramaphosa, supporters give Ace 30 days to go

This is a reference to what the ANC's NEC decided at its last meeting at the end of March, giving Magashule 30 days in which to consult former leaders before stepping down.

If he doesn't do so, he will be suspended.

Duarte has also blamed Magashule's faction for leaking recordings of high-level ANC meetings.

She told the SABC's Samkele Maseko in an interview: "As officials of the ANC, we have an absolute right to voice my opinion (sic). They chose selectively a few words. To me, snooping is a very disgusting science, but it's used by people and it's used for a particular emphasis."

READ | To step down or not to step down: Ace Magashule to visit Nkandla to ask Jacob Zuma for advice

She said she had a private conversation with six people – five of the ANC's top six leaders and former president Jacob Zuma, during a Zoom meeting at the end of March – and she said they understood each other and corrected each other.

She hinted that the leaking of a selective recording dampened her willingness to speak out at such meetings.

"I'm now told I have no right," she said.

In the audio clip, Duarte is heard saying that a "solution" should be found for Zuma as he did not want to appear before the State Capture Inquiry. She also questioned the independence of judges.

Moral

Duarte told Eyewitness News that the leak was meant to create an impression that she was of low moral integrity.  

"I am calling out the secretary-general of the ANC and asking him to respect the ANC, and to call on his supporters to stop this," she said, with reference to the audio recordings.

She called their efforts a "Samson approach", in that they are trying to bring the entire party down with them.

She also said Magashule told Zuma, at that same meeting, to testify at the inquiry, but there was no audio recording of it doing the rounds. 

Duarte is the official who will act in Magashule's place should he step down or be suspended.

Duarte did not answer the phone when News24 tried to call her.

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