All eyes on Ma­gashule at NEC

The in­tegrity com­mis­sion and the ‘plot’ are on the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing’s agenda

Mail & Guardian - - News - Paddy Harper & Dineo Bendile

Pro­pos­als by ANC sec­re­tary gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule that the party’s in­tegrity com­mis­sion, which in­ves­ti­gates claims of cor­rup­tion or mis­con­duct by its mem­bers, acts on the in­struc­tion of his of­fice have been shot down by the party’s na­tional lead­er­ship.

The ANC na­tional work­ing com­mit­tee (NWC), at a re­cent meet­ing, re­jected plac­ing the com­mis­sion un­der the con­trol of the sec­re­tary gen­eral’s of­fice.

In­stead, the NWC, which meets on Septem­ber 28, and the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC), which sits the same day, are likely to rat­ify an au­tonomous in­tegrity com­mis­sion able to ini­ti­ate its own in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Two NWC mem­bers, who asked not to be named, con­firmed the in­tegrity com­mis­sion would be “get­ting to work” af­ter its terms of ref­er­ence and mem­ber­ship are rat­i­fied by the NEC.

“Con­fer­ence said the in­tegrity com­mis­sion must be set up by the NWC and the NEC by the end of June. It has been set up and the mem­ber­ship dis­cussed by the NWC. This [com­po­si­tion] now needs to be rat­i­fied by the NEC,” the NWC mem­ber said.

The con­fer­ence re­solved to es­tab­lish a new in­tegrity body be­cause its ex­ist­ing struc­ture was re­garded as tooth­less.

“The terms of ref­er­ence were sent back,” the NWC mem­ber said. “The sec­re­tary gen­eral had put in a clause that, be­fore the in­tegrity com­mis­sion could in­ves­ti­gate some­body, it had to get ap­proval from the sec­re­tary gen­eral’s of­fice.”

This meant his of­fice, and not the com­mis­sion, would de­cide who to in­ves­ti­gate.

“We told him it won’t work,” the NWC mem­ber said. The NWC wanted the in­tegrity com­mit­tee to be able to in­sti­tute in­ves­ti­ga­tions “all on its own”.

The NEC is also ex­pected to rat­ify Ma­gashule’s re­port on the process of au­dit­ing mem­ber­ship in the prov­inces and re­gions. The re­port, pre­sented to the NWC, found that Mpumalanga had 400 wards but 508 ANC branches, an in­di­ca­tion that branches were cloned when the ANC’s deputy pres­i­dent, David Mabuza, was ANC pro­vin­cial chaiman and pre­mier of that prov­ince.

The re­port has height­ened ten­sions be­tween Ma­gashule and Mabuza, a one-time ally of Ma­gashule and for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

A pro­vin­cial gen­eral coun­cil meet­ing, at which elect re­place­ments would be cho­sen for Mabuza and other pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers who had been elected to the NEC, has not sat be­cause the process of con­sol­i­dat­ing cloned branches has stut­tered, said ANC sources in the Mpumalanga.

Anti-Mabuza branches in Mpumalanga, which threat­ened court ac­tion should the coun­cil sit, have de­manded the pro­vin­cial lead­er­ship be dis­solved and re­placed with a task team.

Ron­nie Malo­mane, a spokesper­son for the branches, said they met an NEC del­e­ga­tion last week and agreed to sus­pend their court ap­pli­ca­tion pend­ing the out­come of the NEC meet­ing.

The NWC has al­ready sug­gested that ANC pro­vin­cial and re­gional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tees that had missed the Au­gust con­fer­ence cut­off date should be dis­solved and re­placed with task teams.

The NEC will have to process this de­ci­sion, the NWC mem­ber said.

The mo­ti­va­tion for the de­ci­sion was to avoid po­ten­tial court ac­tion over struc­tures that had out­lived their term of of­fice and re­mained in place dur­ing the list pro­cesses ahead of elec­tions, he said.

Ma­gashule’s meet­ing with Zuma at the Ma­ha­rani Ho­tel in Dur­ban, al­legedly as part of a plot to un­seat Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, will also be on the meet­ing’s agenda.

“Ace will have to ex­plain,” the NWC mem­ber said.

Zuma is also ex­prected to at­tend the meet­ing.

A staunch Ramaphosa sup­porter and NEC mem­ber, who also spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said he be­lieved it “stupid” to have that meet­ing on the NEC’s agenda.

Al­though he be­lieved Ma­gashule’s con­duct wasn’t do­ing the party any good, no ev­i­dence had been pre­sented to prove he was plan­ning to oust Ramaphosa.

“How do you come to [an NEC] meet­ing and say you want to dis­cuss Ace be­cause he met with some­one? Do you know how stupid that is?” he said.

“Some­one must be able to say: ‘Here is the ev­i­dence. Here is a video or a tape. Lis­ten to them.’ Then we can do some­thing about it. But if they just met? Our sus­pi­cions [that there is a plot] can be le­git­i­mate but they don’t qual­ify to be dis­cussed [with­out ev­i­dence].”

Or­der: ANC sec­re­tary gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule’s re­port on au­dit­ing party mem­ber­ship is ex­pected to be rat­i­fied. Photo: Del­wyn Verasamy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.