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ANC NEC: Members charged with corruption must step aside from official positions

With more claims of corruption against its members, the ANC leadership has been under pressure to demonstrate decisiveness in addressing corruption in government and in the party.

FILE: Ramaphosa said the NEC endorsed the letter he had written to members on corruption, also deciding that those who face allegations of wrongdoing would have to step down from their positions. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said those formally charged with corruption must immediately step aside from all official positions pending finalisation of their cases and must also go to the integrity commission. He said guidelines would be developed on members doing business with the state.

Ramaphosa has given feedback from the African National Congress’s (ANC) national executive council (NEC) three-day meeting that took place amid growing calls for action against corruption.

Ramaphosa said the NEC endorsed the letter he had written to members on corruption, also deciding that those who face allegations of wrongdoing would have to step down from their positions.

"Those formally charged with corruption must immediately step aside from all official positions pending finalisation of their cases."

He said in cases where this had not been done, those members would be instructed to step aside.

With more allegations against its members, the ANC has been under pressure to demonstrate decisiveness in addressing corruption in government and in the party.

It was widely expected that the party would address the issue after former President Jacob Zuma wrote a scathing letter to Ramaphosa in response to his letter to party members – where he called the ANC ‘accused number one’ in allegations of graft.

Ramaphosa said the party will not be deterred from rooting out corruption.

“The NEC emphasised that what seems to be a choreographed campaign against the president, will not distract the movement from undertaking an intensified programme against corruption and state capture as mandated by the 54th national conference.”

Political analyst, Richard Calland believes Ramaphosa flexed his political muscle and emerged strong following the gathering.

“He is a man who likes to buy his time, he likes to wait for the right moment. It seems to me two things have happened to stir him; the first is the real annoyance and anger about the COVID-19 corruption. Secondly, there is a sense that the National Prosecuting Authority is beginning to get into a position where arrests will follow.”

Ramaphosa himself is set to appear before the party’s integrity commission to answer to allegations surrounding his 2017 campaign funding.

On Sunday, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte confirmed the President would appear before the commission but did not say when.

MZWANDILE MASINA STAGES PROTEST OUTSIDE NEC MEETING PLACE

On Saturday, Ekurhuleni Mayor and ANC regional chairperson, Mzwandile Masina called on all members of the governing party who are implicated in corruption allegations to step aside until they are cleared of wrongdoing.

Masina staged a picket outside St Georges Hotel in Pretoria on Saturday where the ANC’s highest decision-making body – the national executive committee (NEC) – was meeting amid claims of corruption related to the procurement of goods and services for the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to journalists, the mayor called on the NEC to implement the ANC’s 2017 December conference resolution that members implicated in corruption allegations should step aside in order to clear their names.

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