13 ANC KZN members to be affected by step aside rule
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Durban - With the clock ticking on stepping aside for members of the ruling party who have been criminally charged, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says it has submitted 13 names of members who have to step aside.
ANC provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, told Independent Media on Sunday that the final decision on who would step aside and who should not, would be taken by the national executive committee (NEC).
Although Ntuli did not reveal the names and the alleged offences of the members, it is understood that some of them face charges of rape, murder, corruption, attempted murder, stock theft, theft, driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal carrying of firearms and charges relating to fraudulently earning child support grants.
The list is similar to the one the provincial structure submitted to Luthuli House in September last year.
A large portion of the 13 members who are accused are councillors in eThekwini. Among them are Sithenjwa Nyawose and Mthokozisi Nojiyeza who are accused of committing fraud during the issuing of waste tenders for Umlazi township.
“We have submitted a list of about 13 comrades who are charged with different cases. So the NEC through the NWC (national working committee) will determine who should step aside and under what conditions,” Ntuli said.
However, the ruling party is facing a dilemma on what to do with the likes of former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and former MEC and deputy provincial chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu who were cleared by the provincial integrity commission.
Some of Gumede’s supporters said that forcing Gumede to step aside for the second time would be humiliating and unfair.
They likened that to trying a person for the same offence twice.
“Mama (as Gumede is called by her supporters), was cleared and returned to work. We expected that decision to stand, considering that her case is in court and we are sure she going to be acquitted when it gets under way,” one of her supporters said.
The spokesperson of ANC branches supporting Gumede, Ntando Khuzwayo who is also a councillor in the eThekwini municipality, could not be reached for their official position on the matter.
Efforts to contact Gumede, who is facing corruption, money laundering and fraud charges at the Durban high court, yielded no results as her phone was switched off for the better part of on Sunday.
Mabuyakhulu is also facing corruption charges after the organisers of the botched North Sea Jazz festival of 2012 allegedly paid him a bribe of R300 000.
At national level, the biggest dilemma for the ruling party comes from the threats by secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Apparently, the branches are emboldened by reports coming out of Nkandla that former president Jacob Zuma allegedly told Magashule not to step aside and tell the party to call a special conference or convene the national general council.
An insider told Independent Media that Magashule is not going to be removed.
“Zuma insists that the powers to remove the SG (secretary-general) lies with branches, not the NEC and he told Magashule to stick around. That is the official position, only branches will decide the fate of the SG,” said the source close to Zuma.
Magashule did not respond when asked about the swirling rumours that he is not going anywhere and Zuma advised him to stick around.