The African National Congress has temporarily suspended the membership of its Secretary-General Ace Magashule.  He is prohibited from making public pronouncements.

The suspension which is effective from 3 May comes after the ANC National Working Committee meeting on Monday reaffirmed the decision of the National Executive Committee that all members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days.

Magashule is facing fraud, corruption and money laundering charges related to a failed multi-million-rand asbestos project when he was Free State premier.

The working committee decided that those who do not step aside within the 30 days period would be suspended.

“Where a public representative, office bearer or member has been indicted to appear in the court of law, the Secretary-General or Provincial Secretary, acting on the authority of the NEC, the NWC, the PEC or the PWC, if satisfied that the temporary suspension of such a public representative office bearer or member would be in the best interest of the organisation, may suspend such public representative, elected office bearer or member and impose terms and conditions to regulate their participation and conduct during the suspension,” reads Rule 25.70 of the ANC Constitution.

SABC politics reporter Samkelo Maseko gives an update:

Earlier, ANC National Executive Member Fikile Mbalula weighed in on the step aside resolution issue. Speaking to ANC members in Cape Town, Mbalula said the purpose of implementing the resolution is to ensure that ANC members did not mobilise against the party and cry foul that they were being politically targeted.

Mbalula said the resolution was taken at the ANC’s 54th national elective conference before Magashule became party secretary-general.

“The NEC will meet, get the report – what has actually happened, but by the time the NEC meets, the 30 days would have expired. All those who are affected should have been written letters to be informed that in 30 days, they must step aside. So, if they don’t step aside, the rule in the constitution will kick in – they will be suspended. And that is what is going to happen.”

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe outlines the NWC’s resolutions: