ANC’s Mike Mabuyakhulu to resume his duties despite fraud charges
Durban - The ANC in KZN has opposed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new rule and allowed its deputy chairperson, Mike Mabuyakhulu, to resume his duties, despite the party asking him to step aside due to the fraud and corruption charges against him.
Last month the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) took a decision that any member in public office who was facing serious allegations or criminally charged, must step down.
ANC member of Parliament Bongani Bongo was set to step down from his role as chairperson of the portfolio committee on Home Affairs, but did a last-minute turn.
Mabuyakhulu’s return has sparked uproar from former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede’s supporters. In August, the party’s leadership asked Gumede to step down as a member of the provincial legislature because she was still facing charges for corruption.
In a reversal of its stance to ask leaders facing serious corruption charges before the courts to step down, Mabuyakhulu resumed his duties on Thursday.
This was also apparent after the circulation of a poster by Ward 13 in the party’s Moses Mabhida region (Pietermaritzburg) announcing that Mabuyakhulu would deliver the lecture of ANC and SACP stalwart Moses Mabhida on Sunday.
Ramaphosa’s relationship with KZN’s top structures was said to be “very strained”.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule will be meeting the province’s top six on Sunday, with Mabuyakhulu’s return tipped to head the agenda.
The ANC’s provincial spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela subsequently confirmed that Mabuyakhulu was back in the fold, barely a month after being asked to step aside until cleared by the courts or the ANC’s Integrity Commission.
Mabuyakhulu is facing charges of corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering related to the R28 million paid by the provincial government in 2012 for the North Sea Jazz Festival, which did not take place.
The DA’s provincial leader, Zwakele Mncwango said that the ANC had not been serious about the move to ask leaders facing corruption charges to step aside from the party and their government duties, and questioned the reliability of the ANC’s Integrity Commission.
Mncwango said that in asking leaders facing court charges to step aside, the ruling party was just fooling the public “because in their minds we’re just fools”.
“The Integrity Commission is not used to clean out corrupt comrades but, it’s just used to make them look clean because we don’t even know the process and terms of reference of this commission and what mechanisms they use to prove when someone is not guilty,” said Mncwango.
The EFF’s KZN chairperson, Vusi Khoza said that the ANC was “just bluffing” when it said that leaders implicated in corruption should step aside.
“It is typical of the ANC: they reversed the decision because when the ANC steals, they steal as a collective. We hope that the judiciary and law enforcement agencies of the country are going to expedite the case of corruption, fraud and money laundering that implicates Mabuyakhulu,” said Khoza.