Top of ANC NEC agenda: Jacob Zuma’s defiance and stepping aside
Durban - As the ANC begins its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this weekend, high on the agenda will be former president Jacob Zuma’s intention not to appear before the Zondo Commission and the guidelines on stepping aside of party leaders implicated in corruption.
In a media briefing, before the start of the party’s regular NEC meeting, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said that Zuma’s matter was out in the public and would not miss deliberations of the NEC.
Mabe said that the process of developing the guidelines had been agreed upon by the ANC during the middle of last year and that following the recommendations of legal opinions by lawyers, the top six officials would deal with the framework before reporting to the National Working Committee and then the NEC.
Zuma, who is scheduled to appear before the Zondo Commission from Monday February 15 to Friday February 19 , has indicated that he will not be appearing before the commission despite a Constitutional Court ruling ordering him to appear before the commission.
This week, ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, said that should Zuma be arrested for defying a court order this would cause deep running divisions within the ANC.
Ntuli said such an arrest would be linked by some to President Cyril Ramaphosa or other leaders of the ANC and that in such an event the party’s divisions would run so deep that the ANC would lose its ability to lead “our people towards the creation of a national democratic society”.
Mabe said that there was a decision of the NEC that the officials must engage with Zuma.
“That decision exists but it really depends on their diaries and if there are issues, including those that are out in the public, they may want discussed within that space,” Mabe said.
With the party secretary general Ace Magashule set to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday on 21 charges of fraud and corruption, Mabe said that they had previously called on their members going to court to show support to a leader appearing to do so in a dignified manner.
“They should not be seen to do things that would otherwise be perceived to be undermining the decorum of the ANC (like) when the SG (secretary-general) was appearing in court.
“We were seen outside court in various platforms calling our members to order, especially those that were making statements who were going against the unity of the ANC. We will again be making the same plea that we’ve made in the past,” Mabe said.
He said Magashule had been on record calling to order those who were hurling insults at ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa and burning party T-shirts bearing Ramaphosa’s face saying that such things could not be done in Magashule’s name as both men work well together.