KZN ANC confident Zuma will step aside from NEC role
Johannesburg - THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal – home to former president Jacob Zuma – are not concerned that he may disregard the resolutions of a party he once led.
Provincial secretary of the ANC in KZN, Mdumiseni Ntuli, said Zuma was a senior member of the party and they expected him to act in a manner consistent with the party’s decisions.
Ntuli was commenting this week after the ANC’s national executive committee affirmed its 2017 Nasrec resolution that any members facing corruption and criminal scandals must step aside or face suspension.
This resolution was brought to the forefront amid the ANC’s efforts to repair its dented image and win back public trust which has been lost after a series of corruption scandals.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the NEC’s decision to implement a 30-day deadline, which concludes on April 30, for these members to abide by the decision.
The step aside resolution was originally adopted at the party’s 2017 conference but had never been implemented until now.
This resolution meant that high profile ANC members, including secretary-general Ace Magashule, former president Jacob Zuma and former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede will have to vacate office and any position they held within the party.
During an interview on eNCA this week, Ntuli said the NEC decision was not taken regarding specific names but “it was a decision of principle”.
He exuded confidence that Zuma would step aside and respect the NEC’s decision.
“President Zuma is a senior member of the ANC who when there were issues around him, voluntarily decided to step aside and requested the ANC to allow him to address his own difficulties and challenges on his own,” Ntuli said.
Ntuli added that Gumede, who is facing corruption charges emanating from a R320 million Durban Solid Waste tender issued in 2017 when she was the mayor of eThekwini, is also expected to abide by the decision.
When contacted, Gumede referred all questions to Ntuli.
Although Ntuli did not answer numerous calls made to him, he told eNCA during the week that all provincial secretaries planned to meet with national officials to “harmonise” their understanding and “refine” their processes so that there was no way in which a decision of the highest organ of the movement would be perceived to be undermined.
He said they would also use the meeting to establish how to deal with circumstances where some members already appeared before the provincial integrity commissions and were cleared.
In December, the KZN ANC's integrity commission cleared Gumede to return to work to the provincial legislature.
“What we need to finalise in the meeting with the national officials is the implication of the recent NEC decision on such matters and I am quite certain that we will find a way in which we implement the NEC decision in a manner that is going to enforce some level of consistency in ensuring that the ANC‘s character of a unitary organisation is adhered to,” he said.
In an effort to establish from the ANC if the party had finalised its list of all those members who were affected by the resolution, Independent Media contacted the party spokesperson, Dakota Legoete, who advised that only his fellow spokesperson, Pule Mabe, could respond to questions regarding this matter. Calls to Mabe went unanswered.
In his first appearance since the announcement this week, Magashule told journalists during a tree-planting event in Soweto that he would use the 30 days to get advice and seek counsel from former leaders such as former treasurer-general Mathews Phosa.
Magashule is out on R200 000 bail and charged with fraud and corruption related to a R255 million asbestos contract in the Free State.