South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has asked all party members charged with corruption or other serious cases to step down within 30 days or face suspension.
“The 30-day period will be used to implement the decision in line with the party’s guidelines,” the ruling party head, President Cyril Ramaphosa, said Monday night after the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
Notably, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule, a powerful politician who manages the party’s daily affairs, is among the top officials charged with corruption.
Charges against Magashule relate to a $15 million contract to remove asbestos from homes in poor neighborhoods in the Free State province, where he served as premier from 2009 to 2018. He denies involvement in corruption.
Last year, the ANC’s Integrity Commission recommended that Magashule step down from his position pending the outcome of the corruption case.
Ramaphosa said the ANC welcomes and supports the decision of Magashule to use the 30-day period to seek the counsel of former ANC leaders.
Ramaphosa also appealed to ANC members to support the NEC decision.
Magashule, who is said to be in another ANC faction loyal to former President Jacob Zuma, enjoys considerable support within the party, especially in his province of Free State.