Call for Magashule to step aside grows louder

Johannesburg – The long knives will be out for ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule when the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meets at the weekend.

Moves are afoot by ANC senior leaders to ask Magashule to step aside to clear his name after the former Free State premier was charged with 21 counts of corruption and fraud.

ANC veterans president Snuki Zikalala on Friday called on Magashule to step aside in line with the party’s resolution that those who are criminally charged should step aside pending the outcome of their cases.

This is while former deputy finance minister Mondli Gungubele told Sunday World that he would raise the matter of stepping aside when charged at the forthcoming NEC meeting. Magashule is also in the firing line for his comments outside the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court earlier this month.

Sparks are expected to fly when the party’s highest decision-making body between conferences meets over the weekend.

Zikalala said the conference was clear and emphatic that if you were charged with corruption, you should step aside. “It doesn’t matter who you are. It is the question of the integrity and dignity of the ANC itself. It is political morality,” said Zikalala.

“The off ice of the SG [Magashule] is the highest office in the ANC, it deals with administration. It is the first time in the history of the ANC that the secretary-general of the ANC is found wanting and faces criminal charges.

“He must voluntarily step aside. If he does not, then the NEC must instruct him to step aside.” Magashule has so far refused to step aside, saying he is innocent. He told his supporters after being granted R200 000 bail that he would only be removed by the branches of the ANC. Gungubele said the party’s 2017 elective conference resolution was clear that a leader should step aside when charged with corruption.

“There are people who are facing these things in the ANC, whether you are secretary-general, whether you are [Bongani] Bongo and Mondli Gungubele, those who are facing these things in terms of this resolution they should step aside.”

Asked about the forthcoming NEC meeting, Gungubele said: “How can we not raise ANC resolutions in the NEC; the NEC is about ensuring that we implement the decisions of the organisation and the resolutions as stated in the conference.”

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