Johannesburg – ANC secretary-general, Ace Magashule is staying put and not voluntarily stepping aside after he was summoned to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court for corruption charges on Friday.
Answering media questions from Luthuli House (ANC national headquarters) in Johannesburg on Wednesday, the party’s treasurer-general, Paul Mashatile, said the matter of Magashule stepping down was not discussed during their impromptu Tuesday evening meeting.
“No, we did not discuss that. The SG (secretary-general) briefed us about the letters he has received from law enforcement agencies and the fact that he will co-operate and he will go to court on Friday,” he said.
This was after the media asked what would happen to the powerful position held by Magashule in the party since he is effectively facing charges.
Mashatile reminded the media the August 2020 “step aside” resolution, meant to force tainted members and those facing charges in courts, to step aside until their names had been cleared by courts, was still being debated.
“You will recall that… the issue of stepping down is a matter that the NEC (national executive committee of the ANC) is still seized with and I am sure in the next NEC (meeting) the matter will be further discussed. So we didn’t venture into discussing that,” he said.
On the matter of the stepping aside resolution, ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte said the party was still trying to get “counsel” on the resolution.
The briefing followed a meeting held by the party’s top six on Tuesday evening after a warrant of arrest was issued for Magashule.
Duarte said Magashule briefed the top six about the contents of the letter, which indicated he will be charged under section 34 of the prevention and combating of corrupt activities act.
The charges relate to his alleged failure to exercise oversight while he was premier of the Free State between 2009 and 2017 and the R255 million asbestos project scandal unfolded.
Duarte added Magashule assured them he would fully co-operate with the law enforcement agencies, and would present himself to court on Friday.