President Cyril Ramaphosa responds to the State Of The Nation (SONA) debate.
Jeffrey Abrahams, Gallo Images
- The ANC national executive committee decided that members facing corruption charges, who don’t step aside within 30 days, will face suspension.
- The committee met from 26 to 28 March.
- President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined matters that were discussed in the meeting.
The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) decided that all members charged with corruption and other serious crimes should step aside within 30 days, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday.
If they fail to do so, they will be suspended in terms of Rule 25 (70) of ANC’s constitution.
Ramaphosa made the announcement during closing remarks which he delivered after the NEC met this weekend and discussed, among other issues, the procedure that corruption accused, including secretary-general Ace Magashule, should follow.
Several party heavyweights attended the meeting, including former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, and NEC member Joel Netshitenzhe.
He said the meeting emphasised that the 30 days would be used to enable the implementation of the decision according to guidelines.
“And this is not for the review of the decision. The NEC also agreed that the provincial chairpersons and secretaries would meet with the national officials during the time to further refine the guidelines, to make additions, to sharpen them – [and] to ensure the resolution can be effectively and practically implemented,” he said.
‘Counsel of past leaders’
Ramaphosa said Magashule’s office would work with provinces to identify all people affected and inform them of the decision.
The party’s president added: “The ANC welcomes the decision by the ANC secretary-general to use this time to seek the counsel of past leaders of our movement, and the ANC supports our secretary-general in this effort.”
Members have been called upon to refrain from engaging in acts – including mobilisation or issuing public statements – that undermine the implementation of the conference resolution.
Ramaphosa said the NEC also discussed matters affecting the higher education sector.
He said the meeting noted the progress made toward the provision of free higher education to poor and working-class students.
“The NEC welcomed the work in progress to look at solutions to address the student debt as well as the critical issue of funding of higher education broadly, particularly for the missing middle.
“The NEC agreed with the caution, that we must ensure that we do not underfund the critical TVET, community education and training and skills sector. These components are critical to empowering millions of young people in our country,” he said.
Turning to the issue of embattled Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the NEC reflected on the party’s approach and noted the matter was dealt with in Parliament in terms of the rules relating to the removal of the head of a Chapter 9 institution.
“The NEC confirmed the responsibility of the ANC political committee in Parliament to oversee matters before caucus and consult with and be guided by the national officials and the ANC headquarters as and when it is required,” he said.
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