Should ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule defy the governing party’s call for him to vacate his post at Luthuli House due to his corruption trial, the party would risk having rebellion among its ranks in the near future.
This is according to Northern Cape Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Zamani Saul, who says the ANC’s step aside resolution should be respected by all members regardless of their positions in the party.
“If the senior leadership of the ANC does not heed the call to step aside, that simply means nobody else will step aside,” Saul said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika on Wednesday.
“Why would an ordinary member of the ANC step aside if senior leaders don’t step aside and the rules don’t apply to them? If the NEC fails in this it is self-dissolution. We are dissolving ourselves [and] we will never be able to implement any other decision of the NEC.”
On Tuesday, the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) reaffirmed the party’s 2017 Nasrec resolution that all members charged with corruption and other serious crimes should step down from their positions or face suspension.
This was after the 30-day period given by the ANC’s highest decision-making body in between conferences, the national executive committee (NEC), for all members affected by the resolution to voluntarily step down expired.
ANC members who refuse to step down would now be instructed to do so.
Saul warned should Magashule and others refuse to step down, that would put the ANC in a “very precarious position”.
He said the step aside resolution was necessary for the renewal of the governing party, saying it could also assist the ANC to gain back its lost supporters in the local government elections in October.
“Our traditional support base has been complaining about the levels of corruption in the ranks of the ANC. Stepping aside is a direct response to that concern. We are in an era of organisational renewal and we need to enhance the integrity of the organisation.
“Our supporters are coming back in large numbers and are extremely excited about the fact that we are cleaning ourselves… that’s the reason why our supporters decided to pull back because we look like a corrupt organisation,” Saul said.
It is unclear whether Magashule will step down from his position pending the finalisation of his corruption case.
He is facing fraud and corruption charges emanating from his tenure as Free State premier over a multimillion-rand asbestos audit contract scandal.
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