ANC to ask more leaders in KZN to 'step aside'
Durban - The ANC in KZN is looking at asking more than 10 provincial leaders to step aside from their work and party activities until they have been cleared by the courts or the Integrity Commission.
The provincial executive committee (PEC) kicked off its monthly meeting Sunday, ratifying a list of the members presented to it by the provincial working committee (PWC), which had met earlier in the weekend.
ANC provinces across the country are scrambling to finalise lists of such members so that they could be submitted to the commission to issue summons, as empowered by a recent national executive committee (NEC) decision.
Among those who have confirmed that they have been summoned are secretary-general Ace Magashule, party president Cyril Ramaphosa, Nomvula Mokonyane, Gwede Mantashe and Thandi Modise.
It is not clear when the George Mashamba chaired commission would start summoning members. Efforts to get clarity from ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe were unsuccessful.
Independent Media understands that other than former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede and deputy provincial chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu, who was asked to step aside two weeks ago, more senior leaders would face a similar fate.
It is believed among them are uMlazi councillor and key CR17 lobbyist ahead of the 2017 Nasrec conference Sithenjwa Nyasowe, Nomthandazo Shabalala, and Grace de Lange. They are all councillors in the eThekwini Municipality.
They were arrested in December last year after the State alleged that they received kickbacks after manipulating waste collection tenders in their wards.
“It’s going to be a heated meeting, as those who have not been charged by courts are facing mere allegations in the public domain. They will argue that they are being smeared.
“But I think removing those with pending court cases will be easy for the PEC, as they have already been instructed to step aside,” said a party insider.
Provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela confirmed that the issue of members who are supposed to appear before the integrity commission and those to step aside would be finalised in the coming days.
“We are looking at about 12 to 13 members who will be asked to step aside. The PWC has drafted a report, which would be discussed by the PEC and made final,” he said.
Ntombela said one of the challenges they had as the PWC in drafting the list was that, along the way, some members who were facing charges got acquitted and had to be removed from the list.
“For example, there was a comrade from uThukela who had a pending court case but, on Friday, he was acquitted. That meant we had to amend the draft report accordingly,” he said.
The PEC meeting, which would conclude later today, is also expected to receive a report from a committee chaired by former KZN premier Willies Mchunu and tasked with probing allegations against three party heavyweights, accused of abusing their powers and influence.
The three heavyweights are PEC member and member of the KZN legislature Jomo Sibiya, Newcastle mayor and eMalahleni regional chairperson Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, and deputy provincial secretary and MEC for Cogta Sipho Hlomuka.
The probe was commissioned after an anonymous letter circulated online alleging that Sibiya made a woman pregnant and later forced her to have an abortion.
The abortion was allegedly carried out under false pretence at a surgery owned by Mahlaba, who is a friend of Sibiya and Hlomuka.
Hlomuka was dragged into the probe as an accomplice, who allegedly knew about the duping of the woman.
It is understood that the woman was later arrested for allegedly posing as a doctor and working in one of the provincial government hospitals.
Previously, Sibiya, Mahlaba and Hlomuka said the ANC should be given space to conclude the probe, and they were ready to co-operate when called to do so.