ANC NWC meeting sets tone for NEC to act against graft accused

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule holds a media briefing to discuss the outcomes of its four-day National Executive Committee meeting at Luthuli House, Johannesburg, 2 October, 2019. Picture: Emmanuel Croset

The NWC also called on the KZN provincial executive committee to explain its deployment of graft-accused former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.

The ANC’s national working committee has set the tone for what is expected to be a vigorous national executive committee (NEC) meeting this weekend that is dominated by issues of corruption.

The NWC held a meeting on Monday where, according to one party insider, a letter President Cyril Ramaphosa penned to party members received support.

The insider said none of the NWC members objected to Ramaphosa’s letter in which he accused the party of standing as Accused Number One when it comes to corruption.

On Sunday, Ramaphosa said the NEC, at its last meeting at the beginning of the month, had recognised the public outrage caused by recent reports of corruption.

“It said these developments ’cause us collectively to dip our heads in shame and to humble ourselves before the people’. The NEC recognised that it had a clear mandate from the 54th National Conference [at Nasrec] to deal decisively with corruption and to restore the integrity and values of the ANC. It said this is a responsibility it cannot defer, outsource or avoid,” Ramaphosa said.

This week, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) revealed that it was investigating 17 tenders worth R1.2 billion, which involved “politically exposed persons” and were connected to alleged Covid-19-related corruption.

Ramaphosa said the lack of discipline and the party’s failure to deal with the issues within the organisation had eroded organisational ethos and standing.

At the last NEC meeting, the party resolved to have independent, top legal minds and forensic experts to advise it on compiling a report on all members implicated in corruption, City Press reported.

The office of secretary-general Ace Magashule will be responsible for acquiring reports from provincial secretaries on members implicated in corruption.

Magashule

During the NWC meeting, Magashule indicated that his report on corrupt members was not ready because he was waiting for provinces to send information through. He indicated that he would have a report ready for the NEC on Friday, the party insider said.

He added that members of the NWC agreed that all those implicated in corruption must step aside – a line the NWC attested to its Nasrec resolutions.

Speaking to the SABC, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said there was an implied prospect in the party’s constitution which indicated that two measures needed to be taken when a member brought the party into disrepute.

The party constitution indicated that the members should present themselves to the integrity commission or should expect to be taken to the disciplinary committee.

“We are also are very happy, as implied in the president’s letter, that the organs of the state that deal with criminality have now begun to become completely independent or away from any interference. That, we feel is moving very well and continues to deepen.”

Duarte said the NWC was pleased with the Gauteng provincial executive’s decision against its provincial executive member, Khusela Diko, as well as MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso, who have been accused of Covid-19 tender irregularity.

Zandile Gumede

Duarte said the NWC also called on the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee to explain its decision on former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who was recently deployed to the provincial legislature.

“They will come and explain themselves to the NWC. I must say this when comrade Zandile left the City there wasn’t that much a noise made about it publicly but she is taken to the province and boom, it’s an overwhelming reaction. We don’t mind the reaction. We think it’s correct that civil society must ask questions; that the media must ask questions. We will also expect a thorough explanation when we get to the weekend. It’s the only way we can move forward.”

Duarte said Gumede should have used ANC structures and taken herself to the integrity commission.

She said the NEC would discuss Gumede very thoroughly, adding that Ramaphosa’s letter was clear that anyone accused of or implicated in wrongdoing must present themselves to the integrity commission “and live with the consequences”.

Duarte added that the Gumede matter should be resolved very urgently.

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