ANC's step aside resolution expected to divide opinions at policy conference

ANC delegates will return to the venue where the controversial step aside resolution was adopted five years ago in what is expected to be a renewed debate.

FILE: An ANC flag. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC's controversial step aside resolution is expected to divide opinion yet again as the party's sixth national policy conference kicks off on Thursday.

It's among key policy issues that will be up for discussion at the four-day event in Nasrec - as ANC delegates return to the venue where the controversial step aside resolution was adopted five years ago.

The 54th Nasrec conference in 2017 saw the party take a firm stance to bar those implicated in serious crimes from standing for leadership positions.

And while geared at cleaning up the party's battered image, the ANC has come under fire by its members - criticising the policy for its perceived contradictions.

The aftermath of the resolution's adoption led to the suspension of secretary-general Ace Magashule who faces corruption charges, and murder-accused Mandla Msibi being recalled as Mpumalanga treasurer just days after his election.

The step aside rule also saw the disqualification of VBS-accused Danny Msiza from the Limpopo elective conference and former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede from the recent KZN elective conference.

Since then, some ANC members from both provinces - which have sizeable influence in the party have bolstered calls for the policy to be scrapped.

ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe said formal submissions are yet to be made by party members.

"We have not as the NEC received any formal presentation on the issue so the position of the ANC as it stands now, still stands."

The official programme will begin on Friday, with registration and other logistical matters set down for Thursday.