The African National Congress’s top leadership is expected to grapple with how to take forward its resolution that members, who are formally charged in a court of law, should step aside from their positions in the organisation.
The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting kicks off virtually on Saturday morning and is expected to sit for the next two days.
A framework of “step aside” regulations will most likely be tabled at the meeting according to Spokesperson Pule Mabe.
“It’s an issue that the ANC has long agreed on and the NEC had agreed that first there was that process of the officials engaging with various legal opinions on that specific matter and there was feedback that the different lawyers who were engaged gave to the NEC the NEC has already reflected on that and had further agreed and that the officials must that given that must then deal with the framework come back and report to the NWC and ultimately the NEC.”
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“Step aside” guidelines
Discussions are expected to get heated on the “step aside” guidelines that are to be tabled.
In 2017 the ANC took a resolution that those charged with serious offences should step aside and thereafter a number of legal opinions were sought by the party as to the legality of the resolution.
The guidelines to be debated have been drafted by a number of party elders including former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former Treasurer General Mathews Phosa and current TG Paul Mashatile.
But some within the party have warned that the so-called “step aside” resolution can be used in factional battles to deal with political opponents.
Those in the firing line should the resolution pass include party Secretary General Ace Magashule who has refused to step down after being charged with fraud and corruption, saying only the branches of the ANC who elected him can remove him.
Other big fish that the resolution in its current form would snag include Home Affairs Parliamentary Committee Chair Bongani Bongo and Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo.
The ANC’s Integrity Committee has recommended that all three voluntarily step aside.
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