The ANC step-aside saga: The high-profile members facing criminal charges

Eyewitness News takes a look some of the senior ANC members facing criminal charges who may have to step aside in terms of the party’s resolution.

FILE: ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - In an attempt to cleanse itself of chronic corruption within its ranks, the ANC has endorsed a resolution which states that members accused of corruption and reportedly involved in corruption should step aside.

At the end of the ANC’s three-day national executive committee meeting on 29 March 2021, party president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that all members who had been criminally charged would have 30 days to step aside or face suspension.

Provinces were given 30 days to provide list of its members facing criminal charges, but that deadline passed on 30 April.

Members of the national working committee are now expected to collate lists of party members affected by the resolution this week.

ALSO READ: ANC to only deal with step aside issue next week

Eyewitness News takes a look some of the high-profile members who may have to step aside in terms of the party’s resolution.

ACE MAGASHULE

In November 2020, party secretary-general Ace Magashule appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court, along with 15 others, in connection with corruption charges related to an asbestos contract during his tenure as Free State Premier.

Magashule was released on R200,000 bail after he appeared briefly on 21 charges of corruption and fraud, alternatively theft and money laundering.

ALSO READ: The charges against Ace Magashule

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

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

At a second court appearance in February 2021, the matter was transferred to the High Court and postponed to 11 August.

Two weeks ago, the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) side-stepped Magashule’s attempt to widen the scope of those who should step aside within the set 30 days.

ALSO READ: ANC NWC side-steps Magashule’s attempt to widen step-aside scope

Magashule sent out a memorandum to party members where he seemingly amended the NEC resolution. This was beyond calling for those facing charges to step aside and requesting secretaries of different provinces to also include those alleged to be involved in corrupt practices.

He has been fighting to stay in his powerful office, which operates as the engine of the governing party.

The secretary-general has sought counsel from former leaders, including former presidents Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule visited former President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla on 15 April 2021. Picture: Supplied.

FILE: Ace Magashule (left) visited former President Jacob Zuma (centre) in Nkandla on 15 April 2021. Picture: Supplied.

SINDISWA GOMBA

The ANC in the Eastern Cape has taken decisive and swift action against members with matters before the courts.

This is the same province that made its views over the fate of Magashule known long before the NEC adopted the guidelines.

In March, provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi announced that former Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba and former Buffalo City Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha were among those suspended from the party.

Former Eastern Cape Health MEC Sidiswa Gomba. Picture: @healthecmec/Twitter

FILE: Former Eastern Cape Health MEC Sidiswa Gomba. Picture: @healthecmec/Twitter

The two are implicated in fraud and money laundering allegations stemming from the funeral of former President Nelson Mandela in 2013.

Gomba and her co-accused allegedly swindled the municipality of R10 million.

They are currently out on bail and their next court appearance is scheduled for 11 May 2021.

ALSO READ: Corruption case against ex-EC Health MEC Gomba, co-accused postponed to May

DANNY MSIZA

ANC Limpopo treasurer Danny Msiza, along with 17 others, are facing theft, fraud and corruption charges for their suspected involvement in the VBS Mutual Bank heist and are due in court on 2 August 2021.

One of his high-profile Limpopo co-accused is Collins Chabane Municipal Manager Tsakani Ngobeni.

ANC treasurer in Limpopo Danny Msiza, businessman and former ANC Youth League member Kabelo Matsepe and five others appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on 12 March 2021 for their alleged role in the looting of VBS funds. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News.

FILE: Danny Msiza was among the suspects who appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on 12 March 2021 for their alleged role in the looting of VBS funds. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News.

The 18 suspects were arrested following the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank when R2 billion was stolen – leaving thousands of depositors and investors destitute.

They are currently out on bail.

ALSO READ: Corruption case against 18 suspects in VBS bank heist postponed to August

ZANDILE GUMEDE

The State alleges that former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede unduly benefited to the tune of R2.9 million from a controversial eThekwini waste collection tender.

Gumede and 21 others face fraud, corruption and racketeering charges relating to the dodgy tender amounting to a revised figure of R320 million, excluding VAT.

Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and 21 others appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on 23 March 2021. Their case has been transferred to the Durban High Court for a pre-trial conference. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/Eyewitness News.

FILE: Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede and 21 others appeared in the Durban Commercial Crimes Court on 23 March 2021. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/Eyewitness News.

In a 324-page indictment, the State said Gumede received kickbacks directly into her personal account as well as through a family member and entities associated with her.

The accused are out on bail and the case has been transferred to the Durban High Court. Pre-trial proceedings have been set down for 14 June.

MIKE MABUYAKHULU

At least six months ago, ANC KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said that the commission had found corruption-accused ANC deputy provincial chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu to have shown remorse and therefore allowed him to resume his duties.

The convenor of the African National Congress's interim structure Mike Mabuyakhulu was arrested on charges of corruption, among others on 7 February 2018. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

FILE: Mike Mabuyakhulu in the Special Crimes Court in Durban on 7 February 2018. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/Eyewitness News

Mabuyakhulu is facing charges of corruption over a R28 million North Sea Jazz Festival tender.

ALSO READ: KZN ANC reinstates corruption accused Mabuyakhulu as deputy chairperson

The ANC’s provincial secretary, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, told Eyewitness News that a decision to reinstate Mabuyakhulu was recommended by the provincial integrity committee and then adopted by the provincial executive committee.

The matter is due to be heard at the Durban High Court in September.

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