ANC’s step aside rule falls flat on its face
The implementation of the ANC’s National Executive Committee’s (NEC) step aside resolution has failed to see the light of the day.
Almost eight months ago, the NEC resolved that all senior members and leaders accused of wrongdoing and criminally charged should step aside until they are cleared.
This week started with high hopes that at last the public would get to know the names and the exact number of ANC members who have to vacate their positions.
The expectation even prompted the national leader of the DA, John Steenhuisen, to tell his party’s freedom day rally in Gqeberha that the country should be happy to see the back of Ace Magashule.
Magashule, the ANC's secretary-general, is one of the high profile members of the ruling party who have to step aside after he was charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering in relation to a dubious R255 million asbestos tender which was issued by the Free State government in 2013 while he was the provincial premier.
Steenhuisen said that was long overdue but still, it was worth celebrating.
“In two days time, the ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule, will reach the end of his 30-day grace period before he has to step aside due to the serious corruption charges hanging over his head.
“Why he was given 30 days in the first place is not entirely clear. His position was surely just as untenable 30 days ago as it is today. But nevertheless, that deadline will have come and gone on Thursday,” Steenhuisen said on Tuesday.
Further fuelling expectations regarding the step aside resolution, Magashule was left out of the ANC’s high powered delegation that accompanied party president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to the Zondo commission on Wednesday and Thursday.
However, the speculations were put to rest when on Thursday ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe said the list of leaders who have to step aside, as submitted by the nine provinces, is yet to go through the NWC (national working committee) and later to the NEC for final ratification.
This was after Mabe was asked when exactly the members have to step aside and who they are.
He told Independent Media that while he was not sure of the exact date of stepping aside, the final list, which would come from the office of the secretary-general Ace Magashule, still has to be ratified.
“We cannot give a date… remember that we have got the NWC and later the NEC coming (in the next) weekend… When the NEC meets over that weekend, it will process all the reports coming from the work done by the office of the SG,” Mabe said.
However, while there are several members of the party who have to step aside, the attention is on Magashule, who has been on a nationwide consultation meetings with former ANC leaders such as Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, Kgalema Motlanthe and Matthews Phosa.