ANC factions face off tonight in ’step aside’ resolution battle
The battle lines have been drawn between two ANC factions –one comprising President Cyril Ramaphosa supporters and those supporting ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule – ahead of tonight's extended national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
Both factions will again face off in what is believed to be Ramaphosa supporters’ last attempt to get the party's stepping-aside resolution adopted. The resolution is meant to address the fate of Magashule and others facing criminal charges in different courts in the country.
Insiders told Independent Media the meeting will only have the stepping-aside matter on the agenda.
According to these sources, Ramaphosa’s supporters want the party to break with tradition and vote on the implementation of the resolution, if a deadlock is reached again.
Sources said Ramaphosa’s supporters are quite confident that they have the numbers in the NEC to get the resolution adopted. “They believe that they can pull it,” one of the sources said.
If voting goes ahead, it would be a break from ANC tradition where consensus rather than voting is utilised to resolve key policy matters.
According to insiders, Ramaphosa’s supporters are of the view that the stepping-aside matter has been before the NEC for a long time and it was about time for it to be implemented.
However, Magashule’s supporters, commonly known as radical economic transformation (RET) forces, have vowed to oppose the move and, if they fail, they plan to call for an early elective conference.
“The RET caucus has gone on an extensive mobilisation, calling for an early conference. They’ve extended their mobilisation to the different provinces in support of their call for an early conference,” the sources said.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe was not available to comment on the latest development but one of Magashule’s staunchest supporters, Dakota Legoete, confirmed the glaring differences between the groupings.
Legoete also confirmed that the stepping-aside policy was the only matter on the agenda tonight following the recommendations of the ANC integrity committee.
However, he said he would not personally vote on it, saying it was against the policy of the ANC since 1912 to vote on such issues.
“We only vote in the ANC national working committee meetings,” he said.
He said they want the matter of Magashule and others to be referred to the National General Council for a final decision or the party to convene an early national elective conference to deliberate on these issues.
Tension escalated between the two groupings following a failed three-day official meeting where no consensus was reached on a stepping-aside resolution.