The national executive committee of the party has already declared that individuals facing criminal prosecution should stand down from their positions in the party and administration.
The province’s party is gearing up for its provincial convention in July.
Five regional ANC conferences are expected to be convened early next month, with the party’s provincial conference scheduled for July. These will come ahead of the national conference later this year in December.
The meetings come at a time when several prominent ANC members have stepped aside while facing criminal charges.
However, the party’s provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli says how the rule is being applied, in its current form, is not consistent.
Ntuli says, “When we enquired about how to handle this matter with the head office, the head office response was that the stepping aside did not impose on any member not to accept being elected. But in our own view, it is somehow self-defeating if the case does not disappear because you get elected not to perform your responsibilities.”
“ I think that it would be very challenging if at this stage the organisation takes a position different from what it has allowed to happen and to stand up tomorrow and say to others you no longer qualify to be re-elected. I think people will look at that on what is called factional lenses,” he adds.
Looking ahead to the 2024 general election, Ntuli says the damning findings of the report into State Capture around some ANC leaders, will impact the party’s reputation for years to come.
He also raised concerns over pending issues in the report that are yet to be investigated.
Ntuli says, “President (Jacob) Zuma warned the ANC about this thing that this thing may have very unintended consequences and of course, the organisation decided against that warning. The campaign of our opponent has been the ANC is corrupt and I think that campaign to a certain extent has found traction to the population.”
“ The next election is in 2024, it is clear that given what the commission has said and the work that is still to be done by other law enforcement agencies this will still be there what is used by the opponent. We were hoping the commission would conclude its work and action be done swiftly,” He adds.
Step aside resolution
Political analyst, Professor Bheki Mngomezulu has warned that it could further divide the ANC if the step aside resolution was amended to prevent the affected from contesting the upcoming conferences.
He says, “So, that would be inconsistent, and it would definitely divide the party even further. If you look at the way this step aside resolution was coined in 2017, I think the leaders of the ANC did not foresee a situation whereby you find that some people are implicated, but then there is a possibility that they might be cleared before the conference. But to stop them at this point, I don’t think it is a good idea.”
Five regional conferences in KwaZulu-Natal including eThekwini, the largest in the country in terms of membership- are expected to be held early next month.
ANC’s National Working Committee reaffirms “step aside” resolution: