Cyril Ramaphosa pleads for patience with 'step-aside' guidelines headed for discussion at ANC NEC

The guidelines have serious implications for party secretary-general Ace Magashule, who is facing corruption charges

Aphiwe Deklerk Political reporter
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday revealed that the ANC's top six is finalising guidelines to put into effect a party resolution forcing members facing serious allegations to step aside from their positions.

Speaking during a post January 8 statement interview with television station Newzroom Afrika, Ramaphosa revealed that the much-anticipated guidelines were nearing completion and would be discussed by the party at its next national executive committee meeting later this month.

The party's top six officials were mandated by the NEC in August last year to craft guidelines to be used by the party to force members facing serious allegations to step aside while they deal with the allegations.

The “step aside” rule is part of the ANC resolutions which it adopted in a bid to strengthen its integrity commission as it deals with corruption.

It became an urgent matter in July this year after revelations of widespread corruption in the procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment, a scandal which has sunk Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Khusela Diko, for her ties in tenders in the Gauteng department of health.

However, the guidelines have serious implications for party secretary-general Ace Magashule, who is facing corruption charges relating to the controversial asbestos tender in the Free State back when he was the premier.

Until now Magashule has resisted stepping aside after his arrest, saying only the ANC branches can remove him from his position.

Another ANC NEC member, Bongani Bongo, has refused to step aside from his position after citing the lack of clarity in the guidelines.

“The public should realise that we are serious, more serious now than we have even been. These are political processes, some of these things don't happen overnight and we need to give them time. And I know that our people want quick action, they want quick implementation.

“I am a process-driven person, I believe in process and I believe that we need to take decisions after due consideration of the processes that we put in place. Fortunately in this regard, the guidelines are being finalised and they will be presented to the national executive committee,” said Ramaphosa.

He called for patience on the matter, saying the ANC needed time to deal with the matter.

“We know that it is urgent, so it is going to be discussed [in the next NEC meeting],” said Ramaphosa.

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