Branch representatives would meet with provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli (pictured) and present lists of those who need to step aside.
Branch representatives would meet with provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli (pictured) and present lists of those who need to step aside.

KZN ANC ’tightens net’ over step-aside ruling

By Vernon Mchunu Time of article published May 14, 2021

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Durban - AS THE KwaZulu-Natal ANC said it was only days before it gave several high-profile leaders their marching orders in terms of the step-aside rule, party branches were expected to be told by Thursday night to submit “complete” lists of those indicted for fraud and corruption.

Branch representatives would meet with provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli and present these lists, ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said.

“It has surfaced that submissions on the names before us do not reflect the complete picture of comrades who are implicated and thus affected by the step-aside ruling,” said Ntombela.

“The branches will meet with Ntuli and the lists will be scrutinised to ensure that nobody escapes the net. After this process, we will by next week write letters to all comrades who are implicated, notifying them of the NEC decision that they step down or face suspension,” he said.

The party’s national executive committee (NEC) said it had instructed provinces to implement the step-aside ruling by notifying all affected comrades, indicating to them that failure to adhere would lead to suspension.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the conditions of the step-aside ruling included barring the affected member from carrying out any duties related to their office.

They could not represent the ANC publicly or in any other forum, nor make public pronouncements on matters related to the organisation, nor engage in the mobilisation of ANC structures or any other organisations or individuals.

Asked for comment, Lionel Pienaar, a retired local government expert, said that in terms of Section 27 of the Municipal Structures Act, a councillor who failed to attend meetings in terms of the code of conduct for councillors could face dismissal or not be paid.

He said it would be interesting to see how the step-aside rule would apply to people whose jobs involved attending council meetings.

Ward 28 deputy chairperson Ntando Khuzwayo, who is also the spokesperson for the backers of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, and for the majority 68 of the eThekwini region’s 111 branches, said their branches had not yet received any invitation to the provincial headquarters.

In addition, Khuzwayo said the faction he represented was opposed to the step-aside ruling in its current “contaminated” form.

“The step-aside rule has been bastardised and tailor made to maliciously target certain individuals in the organisation. The ANC took more than 140 resolutions at the national conference at Nasrec, but only one appears to have been given serious attention. This is an unforgivable sin to the delegates who worked so hard towards the undertaking of all those resolutions,” said Khuzwayo, who is the also chairperson of the Gedleyihlekisa Zuma sub-region of eThekwini.

Gumede was charged along with local councillors Zoe Shabalala and Thembelihle de Lange.

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The Mercury

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