WRAP | Ramaphosa's NEC address: Errant ANC members, including Ace, must step aside in 30 days

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29 March 22:34

Here's News24's editor Adriaan Basson:

This is a big moment for Ramaphosa; the ANC NEC has finally decided that all members accused of corruption "and other serious crimes" must step aside within 30 days, failing which they must be suspended by the ANC. That has taken too long, but it's classic Ramaphosa - ensuring he gets his way, even if it takes time.

Ace Magashule now has a month to consult "counsel of past leaders", a clear reference to Jacob Zuma, to reflect on the decision.

Going on Zuma's recent decision to defy the Constitutional Court's order for him to appear before the Zondo Commission, it is safe to predict that Magashule won't resign of his own volition, and will then have to be suspended. This is a major victory for Ramaphosa and will silence those who have predicted that Magashule was going to outmaneuver him at the NEC.

Stay tuned for more news and analysis on Ramaphosa's speech on News24

29 March 22:30

Ramaphosa says the NEC spent time debating issues, but says the NEC was able to "find one another" and unite the ANC and come together. 

He says the ANC is "immensely proud of this."

Ramaphosa has wrapped up his address

29 March 22:25

All members charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days - Ramaphosa

He says the NEC expressed full support in the integrity commission in "combating unethical combat, and increasing compliance with the Constitution."

He says the NEC commended the commission on the progress of an ANC ethical framework which is due to be discussed in the ANC. The NEC resolved that the individual reports should be processed by the officials and NWC and dealt with at a special NEC meeting

He talks about members "stepping aside".

He says all members facing criminal charges must step aside within 30 days or face suspension.

He says Ace Magashule will use this time to engage with previous leaders to get their consul. 

29 March 22:22

This is VERY strong: the NEC has banned any ANC member from associating or involving themselves in the RET forces movement, run by Carl Niehaus from secretary-general Ace Magashule's office.

The ANC will not allow the so-called RET forces to use any ANC resources or buildings for their activities. An investigation will be conducted with the eye on disciplinary charges. This is a major blow for Magashule; the RET forces has become his de fact support team at Luthuli House. 

- Adriaan Basson

29 March 22:22

Ramaphosa now talks about the MKMVA

He says the NEC warned the organisation against making statements that "bring its legacy into disrepute." He says members must refrain from making actions that cause "disunity or factionalism."

29 March 22:18

Ramaphosa takes aim at so-called RET faction

He says the NEC "warned those" who "seek to create diversions" that it will not be tolerated, "our to use ANC resources to perform counter-revolutionary" actions.

He says no ANC member should involve themselves in the so-called RET forces. 

He says, citing the ANC Consitution, he says an investigation will be underway in this matter and may formulate charges against those offending.

He says there has been an orchestrated campaign against several leaders including himself. He compares this to fake news during the state capture era.

He says members of the ANC must not make statements that "misrepresent" the positions the party takes. He says it must be condemned. He says there is a "narrative-gaining" practice among members. 

"There is only one ANC," he says. "Articulation and enforcement of decision on the ANC... is not an act of factionalism."

29 March 22:15

Ramaphosa says the NEC discussed the issue of patriarchy in the ANC and also in society.

He says the NEC "expressed deep concern" on statements that "denigrate women", some statements, he says, made by ANC members. 

"The meeting reaffirmed the ANC's unwavering support for gender equality," he says, including in leadership positions. 

He says the NEC agreed to undertake a series of gender sensitivity training for the ANC, starting with the NEC itself.

29 March 22:10

Ramaphosa now turns to local government elections. He says the NEC implored the party to connect with communities and ensure ANC victories. 

29 March 22:10

Ramaphosa says the NEC urged all its structures to mobilise around the following activities in the next three months:

*The Easter Covid-19 education campaign;
*The passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela;
*Charlotte Maxeke commemoration;
*The anniversary of Solomon Mahlangu; and
*The commemoration of Chris Hani.

29 March 22:08

Another victory for Ramaphosa and his supporters as the NEC supports the ANC caucus' actions in approving the process to investigate the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Ramaphosa emphasises that the process is conducted in line with legislation for the removal of a Chapter 9 institution head. He doesn't mention the DA, who initiated the process, once, indicating that he now views the process as being in the hands of Parliament, not an individual political party.

- Adriaan Basson

29 March 22:07

Ramaphosa to appear before integrity commission on 22 April

Ramaphosa says "several ANC leaders are scheduled to make submissions" to the integrity commission. 

He says the NEC felt that issues like state capture must "never happen in this country again".

29 March 22:05

Now he turns to strengthening constitutional democracy.

He says the ANC "distances itself" on attacks on the judiciary "that seek to undermine its" functions. He says anyone who is found wanting should make use of established processes. 

Ramaphosa announces the ANC NEC has distanced itself from attacks on the judiciary in recent times. This is in clear reference to former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema who have both claimed that certain judges are captured by Ramaphosa. Zuma launched an extraordinary attack on what he called judicial corruption last week.

- Adriaan Basson

29 March 22:04

He talks land redistribution, saying the NEC received a report on it, including land expropriation.

"It confirms the approach by parliament that if we only rely on restitution it will take decades... for redistribution and expropriation," he says.

He said the NEC recalled a previous decision in 2019 and urged government to support the submissions made before parliament. 

29 March 22:03

Ramaphosa turns to higher education funding.

He says the NEC received a report on the matter, and says there has been "progress" over the past decade to provide funding for poor and working class students. He adds that a "tremendous" amount of money has already been allocated to students.

He says the NEC has looked at the issue of funding, saying we "must insure we do not under-fund the critical TVET and skills sector."

29 March 22:01

He says the NEC will convene a special session to evaluate the implementation of the economic recovery plan and economic transformation.

29 March 22:00

Ramaphosa turns to the economy. He says economic recovery is one of the foremost priorities of the government. He says the NEC, in particular, welcomed economic reform, economic stimulus and infrastructure.

He says the NEC has expressed concern over electricity generation. 

29 March 21:59

Ramaphosa emphasises the country's efforts against Covid-19, correctly indicating that this is more important to the country than internal ANC squabbles. The NEC has agreed that our vaccine rollout strategy must be significantly strengthened. This suggests that Health Minister Zweli Mkhize came in for criticism at the NEC, being the custodian of vaccine acquisition.

- Adriaan Basson

29 March 21:57

Ramaphosa now turns to Covid-19 protocols like physical distancing and wearing of masks. He says the NEC supported the stance for the World Trade Organisation to waive certain red tape to accelerate development of vaccines. 

29 March 21:56

The president goes on to say that the government's "foremost priority" is to overcome the pandemic. He says this requires a society-wide campaign for vaccinations. 

He says the NEC welcomed the vaccination of health workers. He says the vaccination programme needs to be "significantly accelerated", and called on government to "urgently procure" sufficient vaccine doses. 

29 March 21:54

Ramaphosa explains that the NEC "commends South Africans for the unity" it showed during the pandemic. He says "most South Africans have diligently adhered to the health protocols."

Ramaphosa concedes "mistakes may have been made", but the government is working to rectify.  

He says the NEC wishes to pay tribute to health workers and other frontline workers. He said the NEC pays tribute to those who have lost their lives. 

29 March 21:53

He says a session with the integrity commission was held, regarding its recommendations.

Ramaphosa says the NEC, on Covid-19, says the NEC's meeting was held exactly a year to the day of the lockdown starting. 

29 March 21:52

The president says the NEC has met on a virtual platform from 26-28 March. 

He says former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki were present. He says the meeting discussed the "foremost priorities" to 2021, including Covid-19 and the economy. 

29 March 21:35

Ramaphosa has begun his address...

29 March 21:21

Ramaphosa to deliver an address on NEC outcomes

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to give the closing address after the ANC's national executive committee meeting soon.

The NEC meeting focus largely on the party's corruption accused secretary-general Ace Magashule.

ANC heavyweights like former President Thabo Mbeki and NEC member Joel Netshitenzhe laid into Magashule who is under pressure to step aside, it has been reported.

The briefing was due to be on Sunday night, but News24 was told that it was delayed after the meeting descended into chaos on Magashule fate.

Insiders said Ramaphosa’s closing address was delayed after it was proposed that there be a vote on the matter amid chaos.

The meeting was adjourned late on Sunday for the party’s top officials to discuss the matter and come back with a solution, sources said.

Supporters of Magashule fought back against the move that he and those facing criminal charges be given the boot through a seven day ultimatum.

The ANC integrity commission presented their report to the meeting on Sunday where they recommended that Magashule step aside pending the outcome of his corruption case. This is a developing story. 

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