Reinstate Ace Magashule, say ANC branches

ANC supporters singing Struggle songs during an ANC media briefing in Durban yesterday. Picture: Tumi Pakkies African News Agency (ANA)
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DURBAN – THE ANC national executive committee (NEC) was a joke, was beyond repair or redemption, and was given three months to re-elect new leaders.

These were some of the views aired at a meeting in Durban on Sunday by the ANC eThekwini region branches in support of former president Jacob Zuma and suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

The meeting reviewed what the branches called factional set-aside guidelines. Spokesperson for the ANC branches in the eThekwini region, councillor Ntando Khuzwayo, said they were concerned about the latest developments in the country and the manner in which the affairs of the ANC were being handled by the NEC.

Khuzwayo felt that the NEC had no power to amend any conference resolution without proper consultation with the branches and structures.

“The 54th national elective conference resolutions were clear on who should step aside but, for the NEC to target those who are only charged by the state machinery – that is clearly controlled by certain authorities – is worrying.

“The NEC cannot willy-nilly suspend or amend conference resolutions to suit its internal fights,” said Khuzwayo.

“The resolution says you must only summarily suspend those who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step down. For that to happen, there must be an organisational process,” he said.

ANC supporters singing Struggle songs during an ANC media briefing in Durban yesterday. Picture: Tumi Pakkies African News Agency (ANA)

The branches called for the NEC to convene a special national conference for the ANC to discuss these guidelines that have the potential to divide the party.

“All members, at all levels, who are facing allegations or being reported must account to the ANC’s integrity commission or they must voluntarily step aside. Failing which, a disciplinary process must then take over the matter, not a working committee,” Khuzwayo said.

The branches called for the immediate reinstatement of Magashule, and to avoid factionalism.

“We call for sober heads – Magashule’s ‘suspension’ of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC’s suspension of Magashule is making this old liberation movement into an international joke, and the entire NEC into political comedians,” Khuzwayo said.

“We are aware that the NEC is divided, but most of the lower structures are not as divided. This NEC is transferring its divisions and factionalism into lower structures by failing to resolve simple matters.”

Speaking on Zuma’s mooted arrest for his refusal to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry in State Capture, Khuzwayo said the branches had begun to mobilise all sectors of society.

“For the sake of peace, we say hands off Zuma,” said Khuzwayo.

Khuzwayo felt the NEC was beyond repair and redemption.