The ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has tightened loopholes in its rule on leaders who face criminal charges after some of those leaders abused loopholes in the rule by being elected to office and causing “serious damage to the reputation” of the party, as well as confusion.
More changes could be on the horizon as the party has asked officials to “investigate and make proposals regarding any additional amendments necessary for the effective implementation of the resolution”.
One official suggested that some of these measures could involve political education and more “thinking” about the issue by branch delegates.
After a special meeting on Sunday and Monday, the NEC agreed that “any member who has voluntarily withdrawn following an arraignment to appear in court on any charge” should not be allowed to run a position in a branch, regional, provincial or national executive committee.
He also stipulated that this applied to those who had been suspended under Rule 25.70 of the party constitution after such an impeachment.
Party General Secretary Ace Magashule was suspended just over a year ago after he refused to resign voluntarily over a corruption charge. There were indications recently from Magashule’s side that he was hoping for a political comeback, as he released a statement on his own behalf, but that would bar him from returning as long as the corruption charges are in place.
“All fees” apply
The wording of the declaration seems to imply that the opt-out rule would not only apply to “corruption or other serious crimes”, such as stipulated by the NEC after his meeting on this subject at the end of March last year, as well as by his 2017 conference at Nasrec, but “at any cost”.
It would deal with someone like former ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini, who refused to voluntarily step down after being found guilty of perjury this month, leaving the NEC divided on the issue. whether perjury is a serious enough crime to warrant forcing her. to resign.
Dlamini is due to appear before the party’s integrity commission, the NEC said in its statement, in which it also announced that the women’s league had been disbanded and replaced by a national team tasked with bringing the league to an elective conference.
The National Party Working Committee will decide on the composition and mandate of the working team. Structures that recently elected leaders who face charges are unlikely to have to reconvene.
Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who faces charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering, was recently elected chairman of the eThekwini region ANC, while the former MEC Mandla Msibi was elected treasurer of ANC Mpumalanga despite accusations of murder. They both retired shortly after being elected.
Senior ANC leaders said it would be difficult – legally and politically – to retrospectively enforce the NEC’s latest decision.
ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile is expected to clear questions about the latest decision at a press conference at Luthuli House on Thursday afternoon.
The latest move appears to have been aimed at neutralizing any attempts by leaders to sabotage the party’s national elective conference in December by staging a revolt against the opt-out rule, which some critics of President Cyril Ramaphosa say is a way to keep them on their toes. the gap. of management positions.
But in its statement, the NEC said that the implementation of this rule “constitutes an important and innovative element in the renewal and reconstruction of the organization”.
The polls are a “worry” for the party
Perceptions that the party leadership is corrupt have influenced voting behavior, and an insider said the party is concerned about its own polls, which indicate its electoral support could fall below 50% in former strongholds in 2024 .
The NEC said in its statement that it supports that “as a liberation movement and a ruling party, our leaders must be above reproach and that any misconduct or dishonesty is dealt with seriously and consistently.”
He also said that his leadership guidelines document titled Through the eye of a needle states that “a leader must lead by example. He/she should be blameless in his/her political and social conduct – as defined by our revolutionary morals.
Leaders are also expected to be role models for ANC members as well as non-members, and their lives must be “free from corrupt practices”.
Meanwhile, in Gauteng, Provincial Secretary Jacob Khawe has become the last leader to step down after allegations that he assaulted his wife. EWN reported that a special meeting of the Provincial Executive Committee took place after the publication of these allegations in the Sunday time and that Khawe volunteered to step down.
The provincial women’s league said it would accompany Khawe’s wife to the police station to file a complaint.
The NEC also clarified at its meeting this week on an issue that has been disputed in recent elective conferences, deciding that unelected, interim party regional or provincial structures or regional or provincial structures are allowed to participate in elective conferences.
“In terms of the constitution of the ANC, these interim structures fulfill the functions of the BEC, the REC or the PEC,” he said, referring to branch, regional and provincial executive committees. “Accordingly, the NEC affirmed the right of members of these interim structures to attend ex officio as full participants and as delegates to regional or provincial conferences.”
Since many of these interim structures favor the current NEC, this decision could load voting delegates in conferences in favor of the national incumbent. DM