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David Masondo 'taken aback' by ANC request that he step aside from duties

Deputy finance minister David Masondo.
Deputy finance minister David Masondo.
Image: Esa Alexander

ANC NEC member David Masondo said he was “taken aback,” by an alleged U-turn by the party’s integrity commission which he says had previously indicated it would not be looking into his conduct.

This follows the integrity commission’s recommendation that Masondo step aside from his position as deputy finance minister as well as principal of the OR Tambo School. The commission met virtually with Masondo last month after he had requested the meeting last year after revelations of an affair he had, the details of which spilt into the public domain.

In the report on the matter the commission stated that it did not buy his version of events.

“The garbled lengthy and nonsensical account and the serious lack of clear thinking resulted in the commission not fully believing in what was being said and certainly doubting his ability to assess and judge a situation and how to extricate himself. While he knew he had made a mistake, he never expressed remorse or ever once mentioned that he has displayed poor judgment on the handling of the matter,” the report reads.

“His response to the questions posed on the abuse of women were disappointing, distasteful and patronising. Not only has he not internalised the objective conditions facing women, he did not even show an understanding on this issue rather blaming the media throughout. Repeating slogans on the emancipation of women to the commission was not helpful to his case.”

Masondo has hit back saying that when he approached the commission to discuss the matter last year when it went public, the chairperson had indicated to him that the group had initially declined to look into the matter.

“I must say I was taken aback when I was informed by the ANC integrity commission administrator, Cde Uriel Abrahamse on 23 June 2020, that I was expected to see the integrity commission following the request I had made around September 2019, because I had already been advised by the commission chairperson around November 2019 that the ANC integrity commission had discussed the matter and agreed that there was nothing wrong in me reporting a crime,” Masondo said in a written response on Friday.

“I acknowledge the advice by the commission given to me to consider stepping aside on the basis that I reported to the police what I regarded as a criminal act of extortion, harassment and death threats; which the commission seems to regard as a ‘domestic matter’; and, secondly, that I reported the matter to a wrong section of the police — Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also colloquially known as the Hawks), which according to the integrity commission does not deal with extortion.”

He says it is unfortunate this his approach to various structures — including the women’s league, young communist league and the commission on gender equality — have been viewed as an attempt to clear his name.

The commission also raised concerns with the outsourced syllabus of the OR Tambo School. Masondo refers those concerns to the board of the school.

“I am aware that ANC members and leaders serve at the behest of the ANC and are expected to uphold the values of the movement; and subject themselves to organisational processes. Your further guidance will be appreciated.”

© TimesLIVE