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Ace will not step aside, NEC to discuss leaked integrity report ’at the right time’ – ANC

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ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe on Tuesday expressed disappointment at the widespread circulation of the leaked Integrity Commission report which urged the party to compel its secretary-general Ace Magashule to step aside.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)

THE ANC said it was concerned that some of its members were responsible for the leaking of the Integrity Commission report which urged the party to compel its secretary-general Ace Magashule to step aside.

Magashule will not be stepping aside despite facing criminal charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering against him.

A warrant of arrest was issued for the former Free State Premier and he appeared in the Bloemfontein High Court in relation to the R255 million asbestos tender saga last month.

During a press conference on Tuesday, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe expressed disappointment at the widespread circulation of the report, though he confirmed that the top ANC leadership was aware of the report.

“We call on members of the ANC to desist from leaking information which could sponsor division in the ANC. The top officials and the National Executive Committee (NEC) must be given space to deal with issues placed before it,” Mabe warned.

He was adamant that the NEC was not denying the existence of the report, but emphasised that the alleged leak happened ahead of Magashule presenting his case before the first NEC meeting due in January.

Mabe bemoaned the fact that the Integrity Commission, through its chairperson George Mashamba, issued a statement on December 10 – two days before Magashule’s appearance before the committee.

In the statement, Mashamba told the media that his committee was accountable to the NEC and respects its processes and procedures.

“We will not respond to any media queries or speculative comments before or during the engagement. Once the engagement has been completed, we will issue a statement confirming that it has happened and outlining the process that it has to be followed.”

But according to Mabe, the Integrity Commission only had a responsibility to present its report to the national officials to allow them to discuss the report and give Magashule and the commission enough time to deliberate on it before making their findings public.

He was adamant that the report was leaked but stopped short of naming the culprits.

Mabe said there would be no urgent NEC meeting to discuss the commission’s report, but said that the “NEC will, at the right time, engage with the report.”

Meanwhile, the DA says it noted reports which indicated that the ANC Integrity Commission had recommended that Magashule should step aside pending the outcome of his corruption charges.

DA national spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said the party has long held the view that the ANC was unable to act against its “own corrupt leaders because the rot runs deep.”

Political Bureau

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