Step aside guidelines must be discussed at branch level first, ANC NEC hears

The guidelines were tabled at the NEC meeting earlier on Saturday in light of calls from some in the party for Secretary-General Ace Magashule to step aside.

FILE: ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule on the Day of Reconciliation 2020 attended the ‘Young Boys’ Dialogue’ in his hometown of Parys, Free State, that focused on gender-based violence. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress’s (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) heard that guidelines established for the implementation of the step aside resolution have to be discussed at branch level before being adopted.

The guidelines were tabled at the NEC meeting earlier on Saturday in light of calls from some in the party for Secretary-General Ace Magashule to step aside.

Magashule is facing numerous corruption charges.

Eyewitness News understands some in the meeting by the party’s highest decision-making body in between conferences have already called for him to go but others say the process should not only be left to the NEC.

Those close to ace Magashule called for wider consultation.

Insiders said some want the guidelines to be distributed as a working document across structures in the ANC.

They argued this would allow branches to discuss the issue, as it is not about individuals but will apply to everyone.

In the documents, which Eyewitness News has seen, the former ANC treasurer general outlines 21 days to deal with members facing charges.

  • Upon receipt of a referral from the Secretary or Secretary General of a matter for its consideration with respect to allegations of impropriety by a member, the IC shall commence its process immediately in this regard;

  • Within 7 days of having received such a referral from the Secretary or Secretary General, the IC shall inform the member of the referral, including the allegations that have been raised against the member;

  • Within 14 days of having received such a referral from the Secretary or Secretary General the IC shall appoint a Task Team or Investigator, depending on the complexity of the matter to investigate the matter and compile a report containing the available evidence and analysis on the matter;

  • Within 21 days of an investigation commencing, the Investigator or Task Team shall submit their Investigation Report to the IC;

  • The IC shall provide the member with a copy of the Investigation Report and request that the member submit their response to the Investigative Report within 14 days of receipt thereof;

  • Upon receipt of the members response to the Investigative Report, the IC shall review the report and the response and determine whether it is required that oral evidence be led by any person or persons and if so, shall schedule a hearing within a reasonable time at which the matter shall be heard. The IC shall also consider an application by the member if they wish to have oral evidence heard; and

  • The IC shall have the discretion to regulate its proceedings at its hearings in any manner that it sees fit and is appropriate for the nature of the matter under consideration provided that fair regard shall be had to the rules of natural justice referenced elsewhere herein.

Earlier, Eyewitness News reported that branches were slowly starting to weigh in on the matter, in what some described as a low-level campaign to discredit both the NEC and the ANC’s Integrity Commission.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.