Cosatu, SACP stand by the ANC as they welcome 'step aside' decision

ANC alliance partners Cosatu and the SACP have welcomed the party's 'step aside' ruling on members facing serious charges. File picture.
ANC alliance partners Cosatu and the SACP have welcomed the party's 'step aside' ruling on members facing serious charges. File picture.
Image: Stephanie de Sakutin

ANC tripartite alliance partners Cosatu and the SA Communist Party have hailed the party’s national executive committee decision that corruption-accused members must step aside or face suspension.

The support comes as the NEC at the weekend finally took a decision to implement its 54th national conference resolution that those facing charges must vacate their positions — as the ANC tries to cleanse itself of an unwanted image that it is a party that protects corrupt individuals.

The NEC, which is the ANC’s highest decision-making body between conferences, gave its leaders who are facing charges in court 30 days to voluntarily step aside from their positions. Those who did not do so by end of April would face suspension.

Cosatu described the decision as a step in the right direction. However, it at the same time remained cautious, saying that ANC decisions frequently failed at the implantation stage.

“Experience has taught us to await the implementation of this decision before making our final assessment of its significance,” Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said in a statement. “The organisation has attracted an army of vexatious litigants in its ranks who have used the judicial system to undermine organisational discipline and fight factional battles.”

Pamla said the ANC, as the leader of society, had a responsibility to lead from the front in the country’s fight against corruption.

“The ANC NEC’s decision is significant because many ANC members and leaders do not support corruption and want an end to the politics of patronage, factionalism, careerism, and crass materialism.

“We hope that this new-found assertiveness of the ANC can also be used to rein in the tiny minority of ANC leaders who believe that they are above the organisation and their word must be taken as policy. These ‘mavericks’ are leading an onslaught against the working class in government and this is poisoning the political relations between the ANC and the workers,” said Pamla.

The SACP said it had always supported the step aside resolution. Spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the resolution was long overdue as it was first adopted at the ANC’s national conference in 2012.

“Building revolutionary moral high ground is one of the programmatic bases of a reconfigured alliance and is important to the necessity to forge a widest possible patriotic front behind advancing, deepening, and defending the second radical phase of the national democratic revolution.

“The SACP calls upon all members of the entire movement to support the implementation of this resolution and to intensify the fight against state capture and other forms of corruption. This is essential for organisational renewal and unity of revolutionary purpose,” said Mashilo.

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