Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

ANC lacks political will on ’step aside’ resolution - analyst

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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Johannesburg - The ANC’s credibility is likely to take a serious beating if the party continues to fail implementing its resolution which instructs leaders tainted by allegations of wrongdoing to step aside.

This is according to political analysts who weighed in on the protracted battle in the governing party over its 2017 resolution.

This comes as the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) met at the weekend to discuss a variety of issues, including the “step aside” resolution. The issue has divided the party as leaders who are criminally charged have so far refused to leave their posts, both within the ANC and in the government.

The ANC is this week expected to outline its final decision on how the resolution would be implemented.

The discussion around the resolution comes as ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is due to appear in the Bloemfontein High Court on Friday where he is criminally charged in relation to the asbestos tender corruption saga.

Magashule is among ANC heavyweights called upon to step aside by the party’s integrity commission owing to their implication in wrongdoing, but he has so far refused to leave his post and has enjoyed considerable backing from within the party.

Magashule’s allies have insisted that ANC branches had to be consulted first before he could be removed as an elected leader.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the ANC faced a choice of either protecting its integrity or becoming a platform through which constitutional delinquency was allowed to thrive.

“There is no middle ground. This is not an issue that can be deferred for further consultation. They need to take a firm position on this,” Mathekga said.

Mathekga said the implementation of the resolution over the years had been hampered by the lack of political will to enforce it and not by its ambiguity, as the party claimed.

“In my view it’s not about the modality or technicality. It is about the lack of political will. If you are being charged by the State, it is recorded. Now they want to look at how you are dealing with those who are not charged and those who are facing rumours. They are avoiding to deal with the issue,” he said.

Political commentator Xolani Dube said the ANC’s top brass lack the moral authority to implement the decision.

“This is showing that the factional divisions are destroying the credibility of the ANC. Each faction has its own way of interpreting the resolution and the leadership does not have the authority to do anything about it. If this continues, it will further divide the party, but it is likely to continue,” he said.

Mathekga said while the “step aside” issue was important, the ANC’s biggest problem was the refusal of its former president Jacob Zuma to appear before the Zondo Commission on Monday.

The Zondo Commission issued an advisory on Sunday stating that it had set aside the whole of this week to hear Zuma’s evidence, despite his stated plan to defy the commission and the Constitutional Court ruling ordering him to comply with summonses from the inquiry.

“The ANC is in government and it is like they are undermining themselves in government by allowing Zuma to undermine the Constitutional Court ruling. They party has been very absent. They have not actually said anything. That is why expectations were now placed on this NEC meeting,” he said.

Mathekga said there was over-exaggeration of the impact Zuma’s potential arrest would have on the stability within the country even though it was likely to sharpen divisions within the ANC.


Political Bureau

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