Step-aside rule likely to be chief point of contention at ANC policy conference

The factious rule, which calls for those facing corruption charges to step aside or face immediate suspension, is expected to be one of the major sticking points.

An ANC flag at Luthuli House. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Some of those seeking to challenge the African National Congress’s (ANC) step-aside rule say they cannot wait until the elective conference to push for its complete removal and that they will suggest that the party to put its guidelines on ice instead.

The divisive rule, which calls for those facing corruption charges to step aside or face immediate suspension until such time that investigations are completed, is expected to be one of the major sticking points.

Guidelines for the step-aside rule were established by the party's national executive committee following several legal opinions.

Leaders affected include ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, who has been out of office since 2021.

The ANC policy is meant to review the party's approach to numerous issues affecting the country and the organisation’s health.

While some in the party said the expropriation of land without compensation and nationalisation of the Reserve Bank remain important, they feel urgent moves are needed to arrest the impact of step aside.

The resolution can be discussed at the policy conference, but only done away with at a national conference.

Some delegates have suggested that the guidelines be halted, which can be done in a matter of days.

This, they believe, will open the door for leaders like Magashule to make a comeback.

But this doesn’t take into consideration rules adopted for the December elective conference, which block those with serious charges from contesting for positions.