Here’s what’s next for Ace Magashule: ANC #integrity committee, a toothless tiger

The ANC has agreed to let their Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, attend a meeting of the integrity committee on 12 December.

Magashule has stuck to his guns, refusing to step aside due to the charges of corruption he is facing. He was arrested in November for his role in the Free State R255m asbestos scandal which happened under his watch. Magashule allegedly received various payments from murdered businessman Ignatius Mpambani, the owner of one of two companies awarded the asbestos contract, the NPA said. He also allegedly failed to report corrupt transactions, it said.

The ANC has reinforced a resolution adopted at the 54th conference which stated that members who have criminal cases should step down from their positions to avoid conflict and the party being painted as easy on corrupt members. According to Ramaphosa’s political outline for the year, the time has come to put an end to nefarious dealings within the party.

“We described our stance as a ‘line in the sand’, representing our collective determination not to give any ground in our fight against corruption.

“Now, just three months later, there is growing concern within society and among our membership that this leadership is not committed to the decisions taken by the NEC and our national conference,” he said.

Ramaphosa stated unity could not be used as an excuse for the culture of corruption “when some among us undermine and denigrate the revolutionary ideals of our struggle”.

As it stands, the ANC NEC meeting was meant to confront Magashule’s actions and his future however, it ended with a decision to have him appear before the integrity committee. From there, any decision made would go to the National Working Committee and back to the NEC.

The integrity committee is considered a bulldog with no teeth as often its rulings are ignored by the people it rules against. Former president Jacob Zuma was told to resign in 2017 and he blatantly refused to do so while deputy minister of finance David Masondo was also advised to step down and he did not.

The committee is made up of ANC veterans including: George Mashamba, Brigitte Mabandla, Smagaliso Mkatshwa, Sophia de Bruyn, Sindiso Mfenyana, Sue Rabkin, Essop Jassat and Cyril Jantjies. Should it find Magashule guilty and order him to leave his position, this could be overturned by the NEC.

Magashule’s support appears to be dwindling, with the MK Veterans, led by Kebby Maphatsoe, Tony Yengeni, Carl Niehaus and a small faction in the Free State supporting him.

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