After almost 1,000 days as ANC president, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally took the political wheel of the party after a special ANC meeting to deal with corruption.While it is usually Secretary-General Ace Magashule who communicates party decisions to the public, Ramaphosa took the unprecedented step of running the keenly watched media conference on 31 August.
Magashule was sidelined and literally muted (the televised media conference took place on Zoom) as Ramaphosa announced that all party office-bearers who faced charges would be made to step aside or resign. (Magashule can mangle and edit National Executive Committee decisions to suit his agenda as he did on the question of the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank.)
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Analysis: ANC NEC meeting: A final clash?It is entirely possible that the NEC meeting ends in stalemate with no real outcome and no decisions taken – and one person going too far could cause the entire house of cards to collapse.
This is how the ANC NEC meeting nearly paralysed the party this weekendIn an unprecedented move, the ANC will on Monday hold a late-afternoon press briefing to announce the outcomes of a special three-day NEC meeting in Pretoria.
WATCH LIVE | ANC briefs media on outcomes of NEC meetingMembers of the ANC will on Monday brief the media on the outcomes of the party's national executive committee (NEC) meeting over the weekend.
POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: ANC NEC outcomes and DA policy conference in the spotlightThe governing party is expected to brief the media on its weekend meeting
Save After almost 1,000 days as ANC president, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally took the political wheel of the party after a special ANC meeting to deal with corruption.Save While it is not yet certain what, if anything, has been decided by the ANC’s NEC at this weekend’s meeting, there can be no doubt as to its importance.Monday 31 August 2020 - 4:00pm Courtesy #DStv403 #eNCA JOHANNESBURG - The ANC is to deliver the outcomes of its much-talked-about ANC National Executive Committee meeting.Under normal circumstances, the party holds such press briefing on Tuesdays, but with the stakes so high, the governing party has moved the press conference closer.
While it is usually Secretary-General Ace Magashule who communicates party decisions to the public, Ramaphosa took the unprecedented step of running the keenly watched media conference on 31 August. Magashule was sidelined and literally muted (the televised media conference took place on Zoom) as Ramaphosa announced that all party office-bearers who faced charges would be made to step aside or resign. It appears that the grouping around Secretary-General Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma is hoping that the campaign they have been running against President Cyril Ramaphosa over the last two years is now finally going to pay off. (Magashule can mangle and edit National Executive Committee decisions to suit his agenda as he did on the question of the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank. Source.) Ramaphosa reeled off an arsenal of measures to deal with the corruption besetting the party and the government it runs. While there have been tense moments before (who can forget the meetings where it was proposed that Zuma leave the Presidency, or the marathon meeting that saw Thabo Mbeki removed as state president?), this was the first such meeting to be held virtually. The top-level items are: The action on the leaders who face criminal charges – former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede has stepped down from her position as a provincial MPL; ANC MP Bongani Bongo has confirmed he will stand down and Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa has been asked to resign by provincial party bosses. That brought shame to the party and some senior members, like Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, who had to take leave of absence after her husband’s company scored dubious Covid-19 tenders from the Gauteng department of health.
Ramaphosa has said that the Integrity Commission will be beefed up and stated a preference for its findings and report to be made binding. It is possibly also the first time we have seen such open manoeuvring before a meeting. Currently, these reports are recommendations to the party’s NEC and cadres often ignore them. Party leaders will have to declare financial interests. The timing of the publication of his letter to the ANC members (in which he said the ANC was “Accused Number One” in the PPE corruption scandals) on a Sunday morning, after the Sunday papers had already been published, looks like a clever attempt to displace the then-current headlines and dominate the news agenda at the start of the new week. Policy will be developed to limit ANC leaders and their families doing business with the state. Magashule caused a mini-crisis when he said there was nothing stopping this practice when Daily Maverick reported that his sons had won PPE contracts from the Free State government. It did help that Julius Malema had to make his accusations through Zoom, rather than in person. Ramaphosa’s critics said he used the fund “to buy votes”.
A spring clean The special NEC meeting at the weekend has allowed Ramaphosa to do a spring clean and the meeting also revealed that he had broad support to do so. The party’s national chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, revealed that NEC member Tony Yengeni, who was reported to have tabled a motion of no confidence in Ramaphosa at the weekend, had merely made a “comment”. It meant that the president had built up a head of steam going into this NEC meeting, with Magashule, hopefully, on the back foot. Mantashe said the “comment” had no standing as nobody else on the party’s national working committee (a smaller part of the 80-member NEC) had supported it. In addition, Ramaphosa made short shrift of former president Jacob Zuma’s 12-page letter to him in which the former leader said his successor’s strategy was fatally flawed and meant to cover up the corruption of his own administration. While this was a full-blown attack on Ramaphosa , the main aim may have been to change a focal point, and the nature of the attack at the meeting, in an attempt to paint up the target on the president’s back. “I’m not easily insulted. Zuma’s letter divided the country as others said it was uncalled for while others said he was within his right to do so as a party member.
They say the highest tree catches the wind,” said Ramaphosa. Crunch NEC weekend: Zuma headlines an all-hands attack against Ramaphosa as meeting kicks off Zuma claims Ramaphosa received nearly a billion rand from “White Monopoly Capital” for his campaign. On Twitter, novelist Zakes Mda characterised the moment as “When it comes to the famous letter, I think President Ramaphosa is revising Michelle Obama’s playbook to ‘When they go low, we ignore them’ ”. Michelle Obama’s famous line about insults is “When they go low, we go high. Considering the level of corruption the Zuma government was mastering during that time, it is hard to believe that state and party money was not filtered through to her campaign, from security detail to ANC Women’s League-organised events, to name just two.” Magashule’s claim that he is being targeted by security agents was met with a revelation by Ramaphosa that he too had faced similar targeting but that it would not happen in his administration. Both Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Police Minister Bheki Cele have said that there is no truth in the secretary-general’s allegations, although he may have been referring to the Hawks. The result was that some of the details of the payments entered the public domain. Former minister Bongani Bongo was the latest of Monday to announce that he was going to step aside from his role as a committee chairperson in Parliament.
Recently, the Sunday World reported that the Hawks had allegedly tried to get ANC MP Mosebenzi Zwane to implicate Magashule in the Estina dairy case. That case concerns the funding of a Gupta family agriculture project in the Free State which cost hundreds of millions of rand and which went horribly wrong. However, courts have ruled against her decision to investigate these donations, saying that it was outside of her remit. The net is closing on the perpetrators, as .