Duarte: Stepping aside of implicated members ‘proving to be a dilemma’

Duarte: Stepping aside of implicated members ‘proving to be a dilemma’

African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has admitted that it’s not easy to ask implicated members to step aside from their party positions.

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Twitter: ANC

The party’s national executive committee has previously agreed that members charged with corruption must step aside from all official positions pending investigations into their cases.


Those who have been formally charged with corruption will have to step aside from all government and party positions with immediate effect.


But, speaking during a briefing on the ANC’s discussion papers ahead of next year’s National General Council (NGC), Duarte admitted that it has been a challenge.


Duarte explained the issue as a “dilemma of political morality and natural justice”.


“The national executive committee said those who are charged must step aside full stop and that was based on the number of cases that are present in the country.


“But what then happens is that people go to court. We are stuck with this dilemma of political morality and natural justice and the justice of the country and the constitution of the country.”

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Some high-ranking officials, including former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, has been forced to step aside pending the finalization of court cases.


But the party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule told supporters last week that he would never step aside and that only the party’s branches are able to recall him from his position.


Magashule appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court in connection with a R255 million asbestos auditing tender.


Duarte said the ANC is still awaiting a legal opinion on the issue.  


“So what we have now done, we have requested the senior council to give us an opinion on how we should move forward with this matter of the step aside perspective, so that we take account of the rights of the people as in the constitution of the republic.


“We have to take into account the weight of the accusation and we also take into account the unfortunate reality that anumber of people are accused, so that they can be removed from out of their positions that they hold by others who need to fill those positions for their own purposes.”

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