A court battle between ANC factions over the step-aside guidelines is looming.
It appears that those likely to be forced to step aside by the party due to their implication in corruption already have their ducks in a row as they fight for survival.
The party’s national working committiee (NWC) on Tuesday reaffirmed a decision of the national executive committee (NEC) in March 2021 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 the party’s constitution.
ALSO READ: First take: Well, what now Ace?
However, it looks as though those implicated already have their next moves planned.
Former state security minister Bongani Bongo gave an indication of his next move shortly after his brief appearance at the Mbombela Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Bongo, along with 11 others, are facing 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and the contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, relating to a dubious 2011 multimillion-rand land deal along.
Asked by eNCA’s Khayelihle Khumalo on whether he was ready to step aside, Bongo said that a court of law would decide his fate if it came to him being suspended.
“I have to this extent appealed this decision that was taken by the NEC. I am sure my appeal will be entertained,” said Bongo.
We will have to look at other options including approaching a court of law to have this thing dealt with differently because the rights of people are being encroached on.
“The bill of rights was fought for, a period of not less than 82 years between the period of 1912 and 1994. So you can’t just trample on those rights…. so for our organisation to think that we must be punished because we have been brought into court is to punish people before courts pronounce themselves.”
Bongo said the constitution of the ANC should not override that of the republic.
“I think we have to do things in line with the Constitution of the republic … anyone is innocent until proven otherwise by a competent court of law,” said Bongo.
Bongo’s trial has been set for next year January as the state finalises the charges.