President Jacob Zuma will reportedly appear before the African National Congress’ (ANC) integrity commission next month for allegedly bringing the ruling party into disrepute.
The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that Zuma could be called to account for the damning judgment by the Constitutional Court in March that found he had breached his oath of office in relation to the controversial nonsecurity upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal and the State of Capture report compiled by former public protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela, released in October.
The paper reported the meeting, which is expected to take place on December 3, will also focus on the ANC’s embarrassing electoral defeat in key urban metros during the local government elections held in August.
The commission’s chairperson, Andrew Mlangeni, and his deputy former National Assembly speaker Frene Ginwala have been particularly scathing in their criticism of Zuma recently.
The commission apparently wrote to Zuma asking him to meet with them regarding concerns about the direction the ANC was taking under his leadership.
Ginwala has previously criticised him for refusing to answer questions put to him by Madonsela during her high stakes probes regarding Zuma’s contentious relationship with his friends, the Gupta family, accused of exerting influence over him regarding the appointment of cabinet ministers and their alleged ‘underhanded’ deals to channel state contracts to enrich their business empire.
According to the Mail & Guardian, ANC insiders who have asked to remain anonymous said Zuma first told members of the party’s national working committee (NWC) during its meeting last week that he had agreed to meet the integrity commission on the set date.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashea has reportedly confirmed the meeting, but he stressed that Zuma hadn’t been charged with anything.
“It’s not what you think. They want to talk to him. It’s not charges. They called him to discuss the state of the organisation, that’s all,” he told the paper.
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Apparently, the decision to summon Zuma comes after some ANC branches had complained that he, like any party member, should be subject to the commission following the ConCourt judgment for failing to abide by Madonsela’s remedial action regarding the upgrades that cost taxpayers more than R246 million.
ANC veteran Tony Yengeni, who has previously appeared before the commission, had complained that it was being used to fight political battles and questioned why people such as Zuma were not told to appear before it.
Ginwala said it was not the business of the integrity commission to charge ANC members but to look into the effect of their actions, such as bringing the party into disrepute. She also said the disciplinary committee had the powers to charge members.