League wants recommendations to be binding, presented directly to NEC

ANC integrity commission must get more bite, say veterans

ANC Veterans League president Snuki Zikalala.
ANC Veterans League president Snuki Zikalala.
Image: VELI NHLAPO

The ANC Veterans League wants  the powers of the party’s integrity commission to be strengthened by making its recommendations binding.

In addition, the league wants the commission to present its reports directly to the national executive committee (NEC). The league’s president, Snuki Zikalala, said these are among the measures the ANC has to take in its undertaking to give the commission more teeth.

This comes as the party’s national working committee is expected to go through the terms of reference regarding how the party should enforce the "step-aside" rule for those facing criminal charges.

The matter would then be tabled before the NEC. The commission has recommended that the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule step aside from his position or be suspended by the NEC.

The commission’s reports are sent to the secretary-general’s office (SGO) headed by Magashule and his deputy Jessie Duarte, who then present the reports to the NEC.

The NEC, as the party’s highest decision-making body, then votes on the commission’s report, either adopting or rejecting its recommendations.

However, if the party was serious about giving more teeth to the commission, it should allow it to present the reports personally so they are not “misinterpreted”, and should also make its recommendations binding.

“We’re suggesting they submit reports to the SGO for processing and then present their findings directly to the NEC so no-one can misinterpret them,” Zikalala said.

He said there should not be any confusion about the role of the commission.

The commission, Zikalala said, makes pronouncements on the political morality of the accused’s actions and not on their guilt or sentencing.

“Our league has put on record that we want the integrity commission’s recommendations to be binding because they are not what we call judicial recommendations. It is not judicial morality, it’s political morality.

“They don’t pronounce on your sentence or your guilt, but are looking at what you call the political morality of your actions, whether your actions have defamed or undermined the integrity of the ANC,” Zikalala said.

He said he was confident the NEC would adopt the new terms of reference.

His confidence is fuelled by the majority President Cyril Ramaphosa enjoys in the NEC.

Ramaphosa has been unwavering on the party’s position that those facing criminal charges, especially corruption, should step aside from their positions.

“They will have to step down. The terms of reference will be tabled to the national working committee [on Monday] and then they go to the NEC,” Zikalala said. “There will be some resistance, but a majority of NEC members agree.”

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