African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer-General, Paul Mashatile, says the party must not rush to boot out leaders charged with corruption.
Mashatile’s comments come when legally and politically embattled Secretary General, Ace Magashule and other party members charged with corruption have until the end of April to step aside.
He says those who have to step aside like Magashule must not feel like the party is abandoning them.
Mashatile was speaking on the sidelines of the party’s commemoration of late freedom fighter, Solomon ‘Kalushi’ Mahlangu.
“There is no rush. We have to do things properly, follow our guidelines. Those who are alleged to be involved in wrongdoings or are charged for particular crimes must also feel that there is fairness in the organisation. There must be no rush to boot people out of the ANC. Comrades must feel they have been heard before any decision is taken.”
Mashatile also says former President Zuma and his successor Cyril Ramaphosa are ironing out their differences since the Top Six meeting with Zuma.
However, the South Africa Communist Party (SACP) has pleaded with the ANC to fully implement the step-aside resolution without fear or favour.
“Those comrades who unfortunately are affected by allegations of corruption before the courts of law must respect that decision of the NEC to step aside in 30 days. It is important for that resolution to be implemented wholeheartedly and in the SACP, those who don’t do so, we will help them to step aside.”
The step-aside resolution has further exacerbated political tensions and divisions in the governing part, making the 54th National Conference resolution of unity a pipe dream.
“I will remain ANC member until I die”
Meanwhile, last week Magashule said he respected and has accepted the decision of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) for him to step aside.
Magashule and 14 others are facing corruption allegations in the Bloemfontein Regional Court relating to the asbestos housing project in the Free State while he was premier.
Speaking to the media, Magashule also dispelled suggestions that he would leave the ANC and form his own party. He said he would remain an ANC member until he dies.
The ANC in the Eastern Cape also called on Magashule to immediately stop sowing divisions in the governing party.
The call came after ANC National Executive Committee member Joel Netshitenzhe had written a newspaper article in which he had launched a scathing attack against Magashule.
Netshitenzhe had accused Magashule of leading a campaign to undermine ANC structures.
Netshitenzhe, who had written the opinion piece in his personal capacity, had warned that Magashule’s faction, which is referred to as Radical Economic Transformation (RET) forces, would continue to fight against party structures.
This in reference to Magashule distancing himself from the party’s step aside guidelines.
“And so, a trend is emerging where the secretary-general of the ANC is starting to stick out like a sore thumb among his peers and across the movement. This seems to form part of a wider campaign to undermine the structures of the ANC”, says Netshitenzhe.