ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Mabuyakhulu becomes first ANC leader to heed step aside resolution

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published May 5, 2021

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Durban - ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu – who is facing charges of fraud and corruption – has become the first senior leader in the province to announce that he was stepping aside in accordance with the party’s national executive committee (NEC) decision.

In a letter addressed to secretary-general Ace Magashule and dated April 22, 2021, Mabuyakhulu said as a disciplined member of the ANC he respected the notion that no individual was bigger that the party and that all members should subject themselves to the its decisions.

“In line with the position adopted by our movement, I hereby respectfully tender to the Office of the Provincial Secretary, that I am stepping aside from my position as the Provincial Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu Natal, with immediate effect,” said Mabuyakhulu.

He also added that the decision to step aside had not been a difficult one as he had done so in the past when he was called to do so.

“I must indicate that it has not been difficult for me to arrive at this decision, because I have done so before. I would have wished to tender this letter much earlier than now, but I had learnt that there was a supposedly pending meeting of the National Officials with the Officials of provinces, a meeting that was expected to provide more clarity and guidance to those that are affected by the step aside resolution.”

On Wednesday KZN ANC spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela confirmed that Mabuyakhulu had written the letter to the ANC secretary-general two weeks ago.

“As the province, we will get the full report next Monday after the NEC meeting at the weekend, which will process all those issues,” Ntombela said.

He said that although they were aware of the letter sent by Mabuyakhulu to the NEC and secretary-general’s office, the letter was not sent to the KZN ANC’s provincial executive committee.

“He submitted the letter about two weeks ago, he didn’t wait for the NEC’s deadline. Mabuyakhulu wrote the letter during the time period put in place by the NEC,” Ntombela said.

Mabuyakhulu’s decision comes as the deadline for those implicated in corruption charges in court has passed.

Mabuyakhulu is charged with allegations of receiving R300 000 in bribes from the organisers of the North Sea Jazz Festival, during his tenure as KZN economic development MEC, after allegedly authorising the payment of R28 million to companies and individuals for the festival which never took place, in 2012.

Magashule was not available for comment. He said he was involved in a meeting.

Meanwhile, its do or die for Magashule following the ANC’s decision on Wednesday to suspend him and other members facing criminal charges, in a clear execution of the party’s NEC decision in March.

He is now faced with the option to either comply with the ANC’s decision or challenge it in a court of law, as the party did not give him and others the option to appeal.

Other affected ANC leaders include former state security minister Bongani Bongo; former eThekwini Municipality mayor Zandile Gumede, Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza; former Mangaung Metro mayor Olly Mlamleli, as well as councillors in different municipalities in the country.

The ANC’s decision came as Bongo appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, charged with fraud and corruption amounting to R74m.

Announcing the party decision yesterday, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said that the national working committee had reaffirmed the decision of the NEC that all members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they would be suspended, in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution.

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