Duarte: ANC step aside resolution not aimed at Ace Magashule

African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte was on Tuesday delivering the outcomes of the party's three-day national executive committee (NEC) meeting.

African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on 11 May 2021 briefs the media on the outcomes of the party's special NEC meeting. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said that the step-aside rule was not aimed at Ace Magashule but at all those facing charges.

Duarte was delivering the outcomes of the party's three-day national executive committee (NEC) meeting, with reports of heated discussions on issues such as the step aside rule.

The secretary-general was suspended after being charged in connection with an asbestos roofing contract in the Free State.

Duarte said that Magashule's suspension was temporary.

But she then addressed Magashule's issuing of a letter of suspension to the president, saying that it was unacceptable.

"We have been instructed to request the SG to apologise publically to ANC structures and members, within a set time frame."

But she was confident that Magashule would step forward.

"We're confident the SG will rise to the occasion and that he will follow the dictates of the ANC constitution."

FACTIONALISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED

Duarte said that the governing party needed to speak with one voice and that factionalism would not be tolerated.

The deputy secretary-general said that the party must not be divided.

"None of us in this ANC acts on our own. We take mandate from the national working committee, the NEC of the ANC, so none of us are able to, in fact, act independently."

She singled out one faction for sowing division.

"We express concern about a concerted and well-resourced campaign to sow division and confusion in the ANC and in this regard, we're referring very specifically to General Motau and RET Forces, which is clearly just a faction raising its head in the ANC throughout the country."

COVID-19 VACCINES

Duarte also said that the party was working with government and organisations to overcome what she called "vaccine imperialism."

She said that vaccines needed to be produced in this country.

"Government is working with other countries to try and get a waiver to the problems that disallow countries producing their own vaccines."

Turning to land reform, Duarte said that there needed to be clarity on what exactly needed to be adjusted with regards to the Constitution.

"Land reform must take place in a manner that strengthens the agricultural sector, improves economic growth and significantly tackles inequality, poverty and unemployment and primarily, land hunger."

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