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ANC NEC to discuss legal advice in dealing with corruption-accused members

The ANC’s NEC, which is its highest decision-making body in between conferences, is holding its final meeting for the year, deeply divided over the matter.

FILE: ANC secretary general Ace Magashule addresses supporters outside the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court where he appeared on 13 November 2020 on corruption-related charges. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - At least five legal opinions obtained by the African National Congress (ANC) on whether it can force members implicated in serious crimes to step aside are expected to be at the centre of debates during the second day of its national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

The ANC’s NEC, which is its highest decision-making body in between conferences, is holding its final meeting for the year, deeply divided over the matter.

This meeting will be yet another opportunity for the governing party to take strong action against members implicated in corruption.

Its secretary general Ace Magashule is among those facing criminal charges but refusing to abide by the 2017 elective conference resolution to step aside.

ALSO READ: I’m not worried at all, says Magashule ahead of ANC NEC meeting

Sunday saw a slow start with former President Thabo Mbeki said to be in the virtual meeting, but ANC leaders are gearing themselves for the big fight.

It’s secretary general and his allies are fighting any attempts to suspend him while another group wants him out of Luthuli House.

One NEC member told Eyewitness News that it will be a difficult meeting, which will be a crude replay of NEC meetings that debated the removal of former President Jacob Zuma.

Another said he expected a strong push back by those implicated in mass looting, saying they were not interested in saving the ANC but their souls.

ALSO READ: Will ANC NWC agree on action against criminally implicated members?

But first, the NEC has to make sense of the legal opinions sought - a process Northern Cape chair Zamani Saul has publicly rubbished.

In his social media post, Saul described the conflicting legal views as embarrassing, questioning how some of South Africa’s top legal minds were briefed.

Meanwhile, KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli has reprimanded Saul, saying this was a discussion for Monday and shouldn’t be brought into the public domain.

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