ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL/ SUNDAY TIMES
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL/ SUNDAY TIMES

The ANC has called on its members who want to support anyone facing criminal charges or allegations related to state capture to do so in their personal capacity to avoid creating the impression that the party supports corruption.

However, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule reiterated that the party believed in the principle of innocent until proven guilty in court.

"Individual members of the ANC and society have the right to express their sympathy and solidarity with the affected persons in their individual capacity, and not through any structures of the movement including the ANC leagues and the MKMVA [uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association]," he said, following a three-day national executive committee meeting.

"Members involved in such actions are discouraged from displaying ANC’s paraphernalia and thus creating the false impression that the ANC as an organisation identifies with, or approves of, the misdemeanours of which any member or leader may be accused."

The ANC Women’s League, youth league and the MKMVA have been staunch supporters of former president Jacob Zuma.

This call comes as Zuma is set to face corruption charges. He is expected to appear in court on April 6 following a decision by the National Prosecuting Authority that he faces 16 charges of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering.

Zuma is also likely to be called to appear before the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, of which he, his son Duduzane and the controversial Gupta family are central.

The NEC’s three-day meeting in Cape Town ended on Sunday. Zuma attended.

Magashule said allegations against the former president were not discussed. He also did not answer the question about whether Zuma would be allowed to continue campaigning for the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal ahead of next year’s general election.

The secretary-general said the NEC recommitted itself to continue the campaign to restore the integrity and dignity of the ANC and called for the fight against corruption and state capture to intensify.

The NEC was aware that some of its members and leaders would be called to account to law enforcement agencies and commission of inquiry and should cooperate.

Magashule said the NEC had also directed its national working committee to finalise the terms of reference and setting up of the party’s integrity commission and report back at the next committee meeting.

This is despite the fact that the NEC in 2015 resolved that the commission would be given more teeth and that its findings were binding.

However, the ANC has ignored most findings of the integrity commission, especially those on Zuma.

On the elections, Magashule said there was no discussion on holding early elections.

He said the meeting resolved that a special NEC should be held, following engagements with all provinces, to assess the feasibility of convening regional and provincial conferences ahead of the 2019 general elections.

On the Eastern Cape conference which descended in chaos last year, Magashule said the NEC noted the report compiled by Sbu Ndebele’s task team into the matter and it was decided that they would continue to work on finding a political solution in the province. This would be led by the secretary-general’s office.

Business Day 2018