ANC branches will get chance to debate step-aside rule

Branches of the ANC will be allowed to debate the party’s contentious step-aside rule when the governing party goes to the policy conference and national elective conferences (NEC), ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said.

This comes after the governing party’s special national executive committee meeting amended the step-aside rule to include that those members facing criminal charges were no longer going to be allowed to be elected to positions of leadership.

Confusion reigned when delegates recently elected corruption-accused Zandile Gumede as the chairperson of eThekwini region, the party biggest in terms of size.

Eyebrows were also raised when murder accused Mandla Msibi was elected earlier this month as the provincial treasurer of Mpumalanga, a situation that led to accusations that the ANC was not serious about dealing with corruption.

The ANC NEC met on Sunday and Monday to process policy documents in preparation for the July indaba meeting, which will be held five months before the elective conference in December.

The branches were allowed to review the step-aside rule, Mashatile noted, amid criticism that it was being used to sideline those who are not aligned to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“We are not closing the doors on the step-aside debate. The NEC decision can be reviewed by the branches. Once you put the ANC image first, you must take tough decision,” he said.

“The public in South Africa is not happy that the ANC is choosing leaders who are charged to lead them.”

Mashatile also noted that former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini had voluntarily agreed to appear before the party’s integrity commission following her conviction on perjury.

Dlamini paid a fine of R200 000 after she was found guilty of lying to under oath in relation to her role in the 2017 South African Social Security Agency grants’ crisis. This was in relation to her testimony during an inquiry into her role in the crisis.

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George Matlala

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