As the deadline looms for ANC members charged with corruption to voluntarily step down from their posts, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has sent an internal memo to the governing party’s nine provincial secretaries requesting them to submit a list by Thursday of all ANC members affected.
The ANC’s highest decision-making body between conferences, the national executive committee (NEC), resolved in March to implement the party’s 2017 Nasrec conference resolution that members charged with corruption or other serious crimes should step aside within 30 days or face suspension.
But it appears in Magashule’s leaked memo dated 9 April 2021, that he widened the scope of those who should step down to include party members implicated in corrupt practices.
“Provinces are requested to submit, by Thursday, 15 April 2021 at 17h00, the names of those members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes and those who are alleged, reported or implicated in corrupt practices. Provinces must provide details of whether affected comrades have been informed personally, in writing,” Magashule said in the memo widely shared on social media.
Magashule’s memo appears to be at odds with the NEC’s statement read out by President Cyril Ramaphosa at its last meeting in late March.
Ramaphosa said only those charged with corruption and other serious criminal offences should step aside. However, the NEC resolution also stated that provincial chairpersons and secretaries would meet with national officials during the 30-day period to “further refine the guidelines to ensure the resolution can be effectively and practically implemented”.
Magashule is among several ANC leaders affected by the resolution. He faces 21 charges of fraud and corruption related to his tenure as Free State premier over a multimillion-rand asbestos audit contract scandal.
The ANC secretary-general said he would use the 30-day period to consult with former party leaders, including former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki.
Attempts to get comment from ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe on Magashule’s letter were unsuccessful as several calls from The Citizen went unanswered.