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Without guidelines, ANC's step aside resolution could be abused - Mathabatha

In a wide-ranging interview with Eyewitness News, Limpopo ANC chair Stan Mathabatha has defended ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, warning that those making claims against him have to provide evidence to that effect.

FILE: Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Limpopo provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha said that without guidelines, the party’s resolution which stipulate that members accused of serious crimes should step aside, could be used for nefarious purposes.

In a wide-ranging interview with Eyewitness News, Mathabatha has defended ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, warning that those making claims against him have to provide evidence to that effect.

Ramaphosa has come under fire from some people in the party over allegations of vote buying.

Last week, former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe also told the state capture commission that Ramaphosa meddled in Eskom’s affairs by wielding his political powers.

READ: Molefe: Glencore sold shares to Ramaphosa to gain political benefits

The ANC is grappling with the step-aside resolution, with some of its prominent figures, including secretary-general Ace Magashule, at the centre after he was charged for alleged corruption.

The party’s integrity commission recommended that Magashule steps down with immediate effect.

READ: ANC integrity commission recommends Magashule must immediately step aside

Both supporters of Magashule and Ramaphosa have been hard at work preparing for this week’s national executive commission (NEC) meeting.

On the one side, there is a grouping that wants Magashule out as per the 2017 resolution.

On the other, scenarios are being explored, with some wishing to see the party president facing the same fate.

But Mathabatha said that when it came to Ramaphosa, wild allegations have been made and these are simply not enough.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa: ANC integrity commission report creates impression I was delinquent

"The burden of proof must be on the side of the one who alleges, they can't expect the president to step down because they make allegations against him."

Mathabatha refused to comment on the Magashule matter directly.

Instead, he reflected on what happened to the likes of Marius Fransman, whose political life was disrupted by allegations of sexual assault, which were later withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Mathabatha said that the guidelines had to be clear.

The ANC is expected to deal with the guidelines along with the integrity commission's report this week.

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