Branches have spoken, corruption-accused ANC members must step aside - Besani to Magashule

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Ace Magashule.
Ace Magashule.
Picture: Rosetta Msimango
  • ANC head of presidency Sibongile Besani said ANC branches have already concluded that those implicated in corruption must step aside.
  • He said Ace Magashule and his supporters must not be selective in how they listen to branches. 
  • Magashule said he will only step aside if ANC branches tell him to do so.

As the ANC's top six is expected to meet on Monday, the man who heads President Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC office at Luthuli House said ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule should not be selective when it comes to his respect for the views of ANC branches.

Sibongile Besani said ANC branches were clear at their last conference that corruption-accused ANC members must step aside from their positions.

"If somebody says branches must decide whether they step aside, this was already done because branches decided how the ANC should respond to matters of corruption. You can't pick and choose what you listen to from branches," he said.

Besani was responding to Magashule who on Friday said he will not step aside from his position. The embattled secretary-general said he was elected by ANC branches and those branches would have to remove him.

Magashule faces 21 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering in relation to the controversial R255 million Free State asbestos tender.

READ | ANALYSIS | Ramaphosa vs Magashule: Who will land the last punch?

He will join businessman Edwin Sodi and former Free State health MEC Olly Mlamleli, among others, as accused persons in this case.

Magashule said a special national congress must be called to deal with the matter.

"You can't have this thing of trying to pick and choose what you listen [to] from branches. Yes, branches said this is how to deal with corruption," Besani said.

He cautioned against Magashule's supporters "factionalising a basic legal matter which is being ventilated in a court of law".

"When you factionalise it, you are trying to divide the ANC," Besani said.

He conceded that the arrest of a sitting secretary-general of the ANC was unprecedented and was bound to evoke emotions.

"It is not an easy thing. We understand nobody can sit comfortably when facing these kind of charge[s]."

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