African National Congress (ANC) deputy provincial chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Mike Mabuyakhulu has decided to step aside from his position in line with the party’s resolution on those facing serious criminal charges.

Mabuyakhulu is facing fraud and corruption charges in connection with a jazz music festival while he was still Economic Development MEC.

Mabuyakhulu has become the first ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal to voluntarily step aside from his position. In a letter sent to the provincial leadership, Mabuyakhulu says while he believes that a person is innocent until proven otherwise by the court, he respects the ANC’s decision.

He was cleared by the party’s provincial integrity committee last year and returned to his position in the party. Although he was elected deputy chairperson in 2018, he refused to be deployed to the provincial legislature because of the charges he is facing. He says he had hoped that a speedy trial would clear his name.

Meanwhile, former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who is now a member of the provincial legislature has not yet indicated whether she will step aside.

ANC NWC meets over the party’s step-aside resolution:

NEC to meet this weekend

The Saturday gathering will be the first in-person interaction of the highest decision-making body of the governing party in between conferences since the pandemic.

Party spokesperson Pule Mabe says the NEC will finally seal the fate of those affected at the end of its meeting next Monday.

Meanwhile, an ANC grouping calling itself the ANC Cadres Summit says the time has come for the party to cleanse itself of all factionalism and tackle the challenges it is facing. It has called for the NEC to be dissolved and replaced with National Task Team.

Mabe says issues should be raised within the structures of the organisation.

File video: ANC NWC processing lists submitted of those implicated or charged with wrongdoing:

KwaZulu-Natal has a list of 13 ANC members – including former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede – who must step aside or face suspension in accordance with the party’s NEC resolution. The party’s National Working Committee has backed the step aside resolution and says those who refuse to do so should be served with suspension letters.