Since the ANC’s Integrity Commission’s announcement 3 days ago, of its finding that Secretary General Ace Magashule should step down pending the outcome of his corruption case, South Africa has seen various responses leaving the public with little trust in their leadership.
After meeting with Magashule on the weekend, the Integrity Commission stated in its report that the National Executive Committee (NEC) must implement the ruling party’s resolution that those who face formal corruption charges must step aside. The integrity Commission also stated that if Magashule resists, then the ANC should suspend him.
Th role of the Integrity Commission
According to the Constitution:
Rule 24 INTEGRITY COMMISSION AND NATIONAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION COMMITTEE
24.1 The NEC shall appoint an Integrity Commission with terms of reference to be approved by the NEC.
24.2 The Officials and NEC may refer to the Integrity Commission any unethical or immoral conduct by a member which brings or could bring of has the potential to bring or as a consequence thereof brings the ANC into disrepute.Souce: https://www.anc1912.org.za/constitution-anc
It is important to note that this commission is primarily about “unethical or immoral conduct” which could bring the ANC into “disrepute”. What Secretary General Magashule is charged with is serious criminal conduct.
Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader John Steenhuisen, stated on 8 December that the Integrity Commission “functions as a veil for justice for those the President and the ANC are too scared to have charged and jailed in a court of law for their crimes against the country.”
While it is a positive move that this commission did suggest that Magashule should step down or else be suspended, yesterday he stated to the press “we should never take pressure form the media, we should take whatever time we want to take” speaking of the ANC’s internal processes. Magashule stated he will take his cue only from the NEC.
Upon asking members of the public how they felt about the developments, one woman told us “I don’t trust any of these people, they say they are the party of our liberation but nothing will happen to any of them when they steal from us”.
The role of the National Executive Committee (NEC)
Powers of the National Executive Committee
The National Executive Committee is the highest organ of the ANC between National Conferences and has the authority to lead the organisation, subject to the provisions of this Constitution.
Without prejudice to the generality of its powers, the NEC shall:
Carry out the decisions and instructions of the National Conference and the National General Council.
Issue and send directives and in-structions to and receive reports from the provinces.
Supervise and direct the work of the ANC and all its organs, including national, provincial and local government caucuses.Source: https://www.anc1912.org.za/national-executive-committee
The role of the ANC’s NEC is primarily to ensure that the provincial, regional and branch structures of the ANC function democratically and effectively. The NEC has the authority to lead the ANC, subject to the Constitution.
South Africa awaits the NEC’s decisions and instructions when they meet next in 2021.
Statement from Democratic Alliance National Spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube MP
If the ANC is serious about corruption Magashule and others should step aside
“The DA notes reports which indicate that the ANC Integrity Commission has recommended that Ace Magashule steps aside as Secretary General of the ANC pending the outcome his corruption charges. The DA has long held that the ANC is unable to act against their own corrupt leaders because the rot runs deep.
It’s not enough to simply leave leaders like Magashule in key and influential positions while they await for the court processes to run its course.
He, in particular yields significant power within the ANC and by extension across its governments. Left in this position, further looting of public money and resources could continue while we wait for the ANC as they drag their feet.
The reality is that if the governing party is serious about corruption then Magashule and every other implicated leader – in government and within their ranks – must be removed until a court has adjudicated on their issues.
The DA has no interest in the ANC’s internal processes which have yielded no results in fighting corruption and jailing those who have pillaged the national coffers over decades. However, the ANC and its leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa cannot keep paying lip service to fighting corruption when many of the people who sit on the organization’s decision making structures – government positions and parliamentary benches – are suspected or accused of corruption.
If the ANC is serious about cleaning house, they should start with Magashule and work their way through the organization even if they all end up in jail. This is what is expected from a governing party by the people of South Africa.”