ANC Veterans' League president Snuki Zikalala says ANC members charged with corruption must step aside.

CHARLES MOLELE

ANC Veterans’ League President Snuki Zikalala has poured cold water on threats by the so-called radical economic transformation (RET) Group in Gauteng that it is planning a national shutdown in support of Secretary General Ace Magashule this week.

In an interview with Inside Politics on Tuesday, Zikalala said reports of a national shutdown by the RET grouping was misleading as there was no constitutional structure in the ANC known as the RET.

“We have one organisation and that is the African National Congress. We don’t have any organisation called the RET grouping in the movement. If it exists, then it is illegal,” said Zikalala.

Asked if the governing party’s senior leaders were worried about the looming national shutdown, Zikalala said the call was made without proof or sufficient evidence.

“Are we worried about these threats? No. The ANC NEC took a resolution that we should all support the unity and renewal of the party,” said Zikalala.

“The NEC took a resolution that all those who are criminally charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they should be suspended in terms of rule 25 (70) of the ANC constitution.”

He said the step aside rule was not meant for any individual.

“Al leaders accused in corruption must step aside. The rule was meant for those criminally charged in general. It was not meant for the secretary general or any other individual. We can’t make a rule for an individual,” said Zikalala.  

Magashule and former eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede are among the ANC bigwigs facing corruption charges.

Magashul was arrested and charged in connection with a multi-million-rand asbestos audit contract – awarded when he was premier of the Free State Province. 

ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said the party does not have any evidence of any planned meeting to shut down the country.  

“It is just rumours. We don’t have any evidence of any meeting. We are not concerned,” said Mashatile on Tuesday.

SA Communist Party’s spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the party supported the ANC NEC’s decision that those who are charged before the courts of law should step aside within 30 days.

ANC regional leader Kgoshi Maepa said the ANC in Tshwane supported the NEC decision provided by ‘President Cyril Ramaphosa and the NEC that those who have been charged with corruption must step aside.

According to City Press, supporters of former president Jacob Zuma and Magashule were planning a series of shutdowns around the country. 

However, the leader of the group Carl Niehaus has accused the publication of sowing divisions within the ANC.

“I can confirm that there is no involvement by myself or members of the Gauteng Radical Economic Transformation group in a shutdown,” said Niehaus.

“I don’t know where this particular report from the City Press came from, but I can only regard it as news that intending to try create divisions, and factionalism, and that is unacceptable.” 

Niehaus added that a meeting planned for Sunday was cancelled, but not because of a warning by the ANC, as claimed by City Press. 

“The meeting was wrongly and deliberately construed by some factional and that it will be in contravention of the decisions of the NEC, we have decided to forthwith cancel the meeting,” said Niehaus.

“We issued a statement on Friday to say that the meeting was cancelled, and we urged no one to attend the meeting or try to convene the similar meeting.” 

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