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ANC NEC meeting: Magashule safe for now

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At the heart of the robust seven-hour discussion was the removal of the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule and others who face criminal charges.

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

THE ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) reached a stalemate in the early hours of Monday regarding a step-aside motion for members who face criminal charges, according to a source inside the meeting.

At the heart of the robust seven-hour discussion was the removal of the party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule, and others.

Thabang Makwetla lead the charge against Magashule.

He was met head-on by Dakota Legoete and Tony Yengeni, which caused discussions to cease.

Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan joined the fray, calling for the matter to be resolved, and suggested Magashule be given seven days to vacate office.

Magashule refused to accept any ultimatum.

ANC MP Bongani Bongo countered Gordhan by suggesting that the removal of a member of the party’s top six must resort to a special national conference to determine new roles.

The matter was left unresolved.

In December last year, the ANC Integrity Committee (IC) under veteran George Mashamba recommended that Magashule step down while facing criminal charges.

The IC asked the ANC NEC to implement their decision, and if Magashule resisted, they should suspend him.

The IC report gained momentum after Magashule made his first appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court in November last year on charges of fraud and corruption.

The charges against Magashule are related to a R255 million asbestos contract while he was premier of the Free State.