NWC gives green light to suspend Ace Magashule, other criminally charged ANC members

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ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. (Photo: Fani Mahuntsi/Gallo Images)
ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. (Photo: Fani Mahuntsi/Gallo Images)
  • Ace Magashule's suspension is on the cards following a meeting of the ANC's NWC.
  • They've decided that the suspension of all those criminally charged who failed to step aside, should be effected. 
  • This is despite Magashule insisting to the party's top brass that he would not step aside. 

The ANC's National Working Committee (NWC) has given the green light to suspend embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

This comes after a meeting on Monday, where it was reaffirmed that the decision by the party's national executive committee (NEC) in March stands and that all those criminally charged, but did not step aside within the 30 day deadline, would be suspended. 

It is understood that the secretary-general's office, meaning deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte by implication, was expected to send a letter to Magashule informing him of his suspension. 

In a statement, the NWC said: "The NWC instructed that the necessary letters must be written to the affected members implementing this decision, and outlining the terms and conditions regulating their participation and conduct during the suspension."

The NWC meeting, insiders said, did not discuss Magashule specifically as "we tried to not make it a Magashule decision". 

"The decision stands. If you are charged and you did not step aside you will be suspended. That is the decision we took," said a reliable source, who declined to be named. 

The decision came despite Magashule telling the party's top six on Sunday evening that he would not voluntarily step aside. 

READ | The step-aside rule rebellion: Magashule says he's going nowhere, Bongo prepares for court 

Two reliable sources said the NWC meeting processed reports from provinces listing the names of those affected by the decision.

"The decision was that suspensions must now kick in," a second source said. 

The NWC also instructed ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile to firm up the guidelines on "what happens when someone steps aside".

The statement read: "The NWC also received a report from the national officials, through a team lead by the treasurer-general, on proposed terms and conditions regulating the participation and conduct of members during the period that they step aside voluntarily. The affected member must update the relevant secretariat on a monthly basis regarding progress with their case. The decision by a member to step aside will be reviewed by the relevant structure of the organisation every six months."

One of the insiders said: "We just said we need to firm up the guidelines on the appeal process and what happens when people are not happy with the integrity commission reports." 

A decision that a panel of ANC veterans be set up to deal with appeals against the party's step-aside resolution and to assess each case every six months, was also taken. 

An NEC meeting this weekend was expected to finalise the matter. 

A third party insider, not present at the NWC meeting, said they expected a number of leaders to approach the courts against the step-aside resolution. 

ALSO READ | ANC step-aside rule: Ace Magashule's fight to the end

News24 reported on Tuesday that ANC MP Bongani Bongo did not rule out challenging the decision in court if his appeal against it was unsuccessful. 

Party branches in the Free State loyal to Magashule also said they would challenge the matter in court. 

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