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ANC backtracks on August corruption directive, Ace Magashule to stay in office

11 November 2020 6:52 PM
Tags:
Hawks
ANC
Free State
Corruption
ANC NEC
The Money Show
Jessie Duarte
Ferial Haffajee
Ace Magashule
Bruce Whitfield
Daily Maverick
Nic Borain
asbestos audit scandal

Magashule appears in court on Friday for corruption. The legal process must be fair and without prejudice, says the ANC.

The ANC held a briefing on Wednesday after an arrest warrant was issued for Secretary-General Ace Magashule.

This followed an emergency meeting held by the party's top six on Tuesday night.

Magashule is scheduled to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Friday on corruption-related charges linked to his alleged role in the R255-million Free State asbestos deal saga.

RELATED: No 'Hollywood-style' arrest for Ace - gentleman's agreement for court appearance

Magashule has said that he does not want supporters to protest at court – “no marches, no T-shirts and placards printed in his name” according to his deputy, Jessie Duarte.

In a statement, the ANC said it continues to condemn "all acts of corruption and malfeasance" and will ensure that the legal process starting for Magashule will be "fair and without prejudice".

In August, the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved that officials charged with corruption must step aside pending investigation.

RELATED: ANC seeks legal advice over 'stepping aside' of corruption-accused members

However, Duarte said at the presser that the NEC has reviewed that decision:

[It] has taken a view that we need to take serious legal counsel, based on the fact that some comrades were initially charged and then had to vacate their positions, and court actions were then withdrawn from them after they had already been asked to vacate senior positions in the movement.

Jessie Duarte, Deputy Secretary-General - ANC

The next meeting of the NEC will discuss the matter, she concludes.

Bruce Whitfield gets comment from Ferial Haffajee, Daily Maverick associate editor.

I may also be naive but I was really surprised because that August meeting of the NEC... the seven-page letter on turning the ship on corruption by President Cyril Ramaphosa... It's all very clear on what should have happened once the warrant of arrest was issued for the Secretary-General...

Ferial Haffajee, Associate Editor - Daily Maverick

The ANC has completely turned its back on that.

Ferial Haffajee, Associate Editor - Daily Maverick

Haffajee however does see an "upside" to the situation.

This includes an important message to South Africa's premiers.

... that they must keep their hands out of the cookie jar because it is the part of government where the biggest spending happens... in the Free State maybe 3% of the spending that was meant to go towards development, housing etcetera, actually goes to beneficiaries...

Ferial Haffajee, Associate Editor - Daily Maverick

It's a seismic moment for South Africa, says political analyst Nic Borain.

If Cyril Ramaphosa plays it correctly and keeps himself clean in the process, the ANC itself might remove Ace or ask him to step aside.

Nic Borain, Political analyst

I think Jessie Duarte would be the clever choice [for Secretary-General] because it would be the non-factional choice. And I think she's got enough real credibility...

Nic Borain, Political analyst

Listen to the analysis on The Money Show:

Watch the ANC's briefing below:


11 November 2020 6:52 PM
Tags:
Hawks
ANC
Free State
Corruption
ANC NEC
The Money Show
Jessie Duarte
Ferial Haffajee
Ace Magashule
Bruce Whitfield
Daily Maverick
Nic Borain
asbestos audit scandal

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