Home South African ANC is ‘not confused’ when it comes to step aside guidelines

ANC is ‘not confused’ when it comes to step aside guidelines

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“All the comrades who have stepped aside are not guilty of any wrongdoing until proved guilty, and to project them as guilty is unfair.”

ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

THE ANC says there is no crisis in the governing party and they are dealing with internal processes when it comes to their members who have been implicated in alleged criminal cases.

The ANC convened a one-day special national executive committee (NEC) meeting to process policy discussion documents on Sunday, via a virtual platform..

The party said this was part of preparations for the national policy conference that will take place later this year.

ANC national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, speaking to a broadcaster said the meeting covered among others organisational renewal, economic transformation, communications and ideas about social transformation, looking into the arena of local government and a number of issues that arise out of the work of a number of sub-committees of the ANC.

“When we are done here, we will at least formulate a view… And we also have agreed on an approach to then begin distributing discussion documents out to the public so that our structures can ensure that they familiarise themselves with the document to prepare themselves for the policy conference as well,” Mabe said.

He said the expectation is that just after this policy conference they will hold a post-special NEC briefing which will accord them an opportunity to formally distribute the document to the public.

Despite a number of leaders facing the long arm of the law relating to alleged criminal cases, Mabe said the party is clear when it comes to the “step aside” regulation that was taken at the ANC’s 54th national conference in 2017.

Mabe said the step aside guideline requires that a member that is criminally charged would have to step aside while their cases are being heard, so that the ongoing part of their case and the work they are expected to do in the organisation are not in conflict.

Among those facing the step aside rule are ANC Women’s League president and former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini, who was found guilty of perjury in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court last month.

Another one is Mandla Msibi, who is facing a murder case, and was elected Mpumalanga ANC treasurer during a provincial conference last month. He later accepted the ANC’s order for him to step aside.

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who also stands accused of corruption, was elected KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairperson last month.

Mabe said the cadres affected by the guidelines at the conclusion of conferences where they would have been elected, they should have done the honourable thing and written to the organisation that they recognise their election, but while their cases are pending they will be stepping aside from their responsibility as is required by the ANC.

“This would be a demonstration and display of discipline on their side because stepping aside does not in any way suggest that a cadre is guilty of wrongdoing,” said Mabe.

He said “all the comrades who have stepped aside are not guilty of any wrongdoing until proved guilty, and to project them as guilty is unfair”.

“Gumede has written to the ANC and ascended the resolution of the party and said she will be stepping aside and Msibi said he will do the same,” Mabe said.

He said “the ANC is not confused”.

“When it comes to Dlamini, there is an internal process that the organisation has spoken to and once the organisation concludes that process, if there is a requirement for the organisation to come and pronounce itself out to the public we will do so. Where we are now no crisis exists at all,” Mabe said.

The Star

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