Following an evening of tensions at the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Sunday, 28 March 2021, the sitting is set to continue on Monday – with hopes that members will finally see eye to eye over the removal of the party’s secretary general, Ace Magashule.
Several media reports have cited “sources” who have said that the bone of contention was the proposal that Magashule and other ANC members facing corruption charges must vacate office within seven days – or face suspension.
Supporters of Magashule within the NEC, party’s highest decision-making body, objected to the proposal, reportedly leading to a spat between members.
The ANC has undoubtedly been split by a recommendation initially made by the party’s integrity commission that any members facing criminal charges, must step aside from their duties.
Earlier this year, the ANC NEC adopted new guidelines related to members and leaders facing criminal charges. These guidelines call for such members to immediately step aside.
“The NEC meeting adopted guidelines on implementing resolutions of the 54th conference on members and leaders in conflict with the law or accused of serious misdemeanours. This is fundamental to the renewal of our movement and to strengthening the integrity and credibility of the ANC,” ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the time.
ANC NEC MEETING: ACE MAGASHULE’S FATE HANGS IN THE BALANCE
Being one of the most prominent members of the ANC, Ace Magashule enjoys massive support in the party – including from the likes of Mzwandile Masina and Tony Yengeni. They are aligned to the so-called RET faction of the ANC (Radical Economic Transformation). While the ruling party has long maintained it is united, sentiments between some of its members indicate otherwise.
It is believed that those in Ramaphosa’s faction overpowered pro-Magashule members. Ramaphosa was scheduled to give closing remarks of the ANC NEC meeting, however this was delayed by the spat between members.
Now the party’s top brass has been given the task of discussing the Magashule saga and must make a final decision on the matter. He faces a string of charges for his alleged role in a dodgy R255 million asbestos tender, which was awarded when he was still premier of the Free State.