Here are some of the senior ANC members who have to step aside – from Zuma to Magashule
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Durban - The ANC national executive committee (NEC) has decided that all its members facing serious criminal charges have 30 days to step aside or face disciplinary action.
This resolution comes amid the ruling party’s efforts to clean its dented image and win back lost public trust which has been lost after a series of corruption scandals.
Announcing the decision while closing the heated NEC meeting, Ramaphosa said once a full list is out, the affected members would be informed accordingly and thereafter they should step aside.
While the list of the members who are obliged to step aside would be finalised after all provinces have made their input to the office of the secretary-general, Ace Magashule, these are some of the high profile cases in the public domain.
Zuma is facing corruption charges at the Pietermaritzburg High Court and his case returns to court in May this year. The former ANC and country president, who sits in ANC NEC meetings in his capacity as an ex-officio member, is accused of pocketing bribes during the multibillion arms deal of the late 90s.
Zuma is also facing a contempt of court charge after he defied a directive of the Constitutional Court when it instructed him to appear before the Zondo commission and answer all questions posed to him. For that he is facing possible jail time of two years, as proposed by the commission.
The under-fire secretary-general of the ruling party is currently facing corruption charges at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court for his role in the 2013 asbestos project which cost the Free State provincial government R255 million. At the time of the project, Magashule was premier and he allegedly asked for donations from some of the tender’s beneficiaries and this was done on behalf of some disadvantaged students of the province. The case returns to court in August this year.
The controversial former MEC for Health in the Eastern Cape was fired last month for her role in the looting of state funds during the memorial services for Nelson Mandela in December 2013. After her arrest with Zukiswa Ncitha, among others, the ANC in the Eastern Cape, suspended her. With the new resolution, she is obliged to step aside from her role as a provincial executive committee member of the ruling party.
Msiza who is the treasurer of the ruling party in Limpopo is facing fraud and money-laundering charges that emanate from the collapse of the VBS Mutual Bank. The State alleges that he played a role when ANC-run municipalities deposited money into the bank, yet they were not allowed to do so. In return, he allegedly got some kickbacks.
Gumede is facing corruption charges emanating from a R320 million (excluding VAT) Durban Solid Waste tender issued in 2017 when she was the mayor of eThekwini. The State alleges that her and family got lucrative kickbacks. Her case has since been moved to the Durban High Court for a pre-trial hearing scheduled for June 14 this year.
Mabuyakhulu, one of the loyal allies of Ramaphosa in KZN, will have his corruption case heard from September this year. He is accused of pocketing a R300 000 bribe which came from a R28 million funding for a jazz festival that never took place. The money was transferred to his bank account and referenced “Ndiyema”, his clan’s name. Mabuyakhulu unsuccessfully tried to get the matter struck off the roll.
The powerful ANC politician from Amathole region in the Eastern Cape was recently suspended from regional party duties, almost three years after he was arrested for fraud, money laundering and corruption. For that, he once appeared before the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court.
While the guidelines stipulate that only ANC members who have been criminally charged with serious crimes should step aside, it remains to be seen what will happen to those who are still being investigated by the Hawks and the SIU.
ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, did not respond when asked by Independent Media what will happen to Gumede and Mabuyakhulu who returned to their posts late last year after they were cleared by the provincial integrity commission of the governing party.