Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Emotions are expected to run high this weekend when the ANC holds arguably one of its most important national executive committee (NEC) meetings.

At the heart of the conflict will be the party’s integrity commission report dating back to 2018.

The party is being rocked by faction fights, with one group coalescing around secretary-general Ace Magashule and calling themselves the forces of radical economic transformation (RET). This faction is allied to former president Jacob Zuma. The other faction is behind President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to eradicate the corruption that has entrenched itself in the party and government over years.

In 2020, the NEC, the ANC’s highest decision-making body between conferences, adopted “step aside” guidelines that make it clear that those facing criminal charges in court resign from their positions and present themselves to the party’s integrity commission.

The guidelines also say that should the affected member fail to voluntarily step aside, based on the seriousness of the charges, disciplinary processes should commence and the member be summarily suspended.

Sources in the NEC have told Business Day there are at least 10 integrity commission reports expected to be debated at the meeting.

These reports include one on Magashule, leaked in December, in which the integrity commission recommended that he step down from his position, pending finalisation of his court case in which he is facing allegations of corruption.

Another report tackles Ramaphosa’s use of money for his campaign for leadership of the party.

These are reports that, according to an ANC NEC insider who declined to be named, Magashule has failed to bring before the NEC.

“They will give us all that they have done since they took office, because they have never been given an opportunity to present their reports to the NEC,” the insider said of the integrity commission.

“They are supposed to present directly to the NEC after sending those reports to the secretary-general’s office for processing. Processing means the secretary-general’s office must put it on the agenda and they must come and present directly to the NEC,” the insider said.

“They have not done that, and that’s why we’re saying we need the integrity commission to come and present and we will decide if we agree with them.”

The insider said they were expecting resistance to some of the reports, especially the one on Magashule, which, should the NEC agree with the recommendations, will see the former Free State premier vacate office.

This will severely weaken the faction he leads. 

The meeting is also expected to discuss the role of the RET faction that has become a thorn in Ramaphosa’s side.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape is expected to confront the grouping, which it believes is slowly becoming a formidable structure that could contest elections.

Lulama Ngcukayitobi, the party’s Eastern Cape secretary, this week said the ANC could no longer dismiss the grouping as a faction. The provincial structure plans to bring to the NEC methods to deal with the faction led by a staffer in Magashule’s office, Carl Niehaus.

ANC NEC member Enoch Godongwana on Wednesday told Talk Radio 702 the RET faction was not a recognised party structure, and that members of the grouping were ill-disciplined.

“We don’t have an organisation inside the ANC which has been approved by the national executive of the ANC as a radical economic grouping. Any such grouping … is unconstitutional and therefore committing a misconduct,” Godongwana said.

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