ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule chargd with corruption and fraud relating to teh asbestos tender in the Free State. PHOTO: TimesLive

A TOP committee of South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has reaffirmed that all members charged with corruption or other serious crimes must vacate their posts within 30 days or face suspension, the party said on Tuesday.

The ANC added in a statement that the National Working Committee (NWC) had instructed that letters be written to affected members “implementing this decision, and outlining the terms and conditions regulating their participation and conduct during the suspension”.

The “step aside” rule is an important test of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s control over the ANC and his commitment to tackle graft.

One of Ramaphosa’s most prominent party rivals, Secretary-General Ace Magashule, faces corruption charges but has refused to vacate his position in charge of the day-to-day running of the party that has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid.

The NWC comprises top ANC officials and implements the decisions of the party’s executive.

The ANC said that at a meeting on Monday the NWC had received reports on party members charged with corruption or other serious crimes and the status of their cases.

A decision by a member to voluntarily “step aside” from their post would be reviewed by the party every six months, it added.

“The NWC received reports from provinces on members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes, the status of their matters, whether the affected members have been informed of the decision of the NEC, and whether they have stepped aside,” the party said in a statement.

“The NWC also received a report from the National Officials, through a team lead by the Treasurer General, on proposed terms and conditions regulating the participation and conduct of members during the period that they step aside voluntarily.”

“The affected member must update the relevant secretariat on a monthly basis regarding progress with their case. The decision by a member to step aside will be reviewed by the relevant structure of the organisation every six months.”

The NWC also noted various reports of the Integrity Commission and resolved that these reports will be discussed at the Special NEC meeting on 8 – 10 May 2021.

“The NWC also received proposals by the National Officials regarding the constitution of an appeals panel provided for in the Guidelines and Procedures adopted by the NEC for those who wish to appeal decisions of the Integrity Commission,” said the party.  

  • Reuters. Additional reporting by Inside Politics.
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