South Africa | WATCH | ANC NEC orders Ace Magashule to apologise for 'suspending' President Cyril Ramaphosa

Suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule has been ordered to apologise for the “letter of suspension” he wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, in response to his own suspension.

In his closing address to the three-day national executive committee (NEC) meeting held on a virtual platform, select snippets of which were leaked through audio-recordings, Ramaphosa said the NEC discussed Magashule’s letter, for which he, “... had no authority or mandate from any structure of the movement”.

Ramaphosa, in an address livestreamed on Facebook on Monday afternoon, and seated at a table in front of an ANC flag, said the NEC agreed, "... that such conduct was completely unacceptable and a flagrant violation of the rules, norms and values of the ANC".

The NEC instructed the officials to advise Magashule, "... to apologise publicly to ANC structures and members within a set timeframe," Ramaphosa said. He didn’t say what the timeframe was.

"If he fails to do so, the ANC will institute disciplinary procedures in accordance with the ANC constitution," Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa also revealed that there had been "unwarranted attacks" on deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte and ANC staffers, as well as NEC coordinator Andries Nel for carrying out the decisions by ANC structures on those who must step aside.

Nel had received death threats, Ramaphosa said, which would be, "... reported to the relevant authorities".

He said the other attacks, "... have taken the form of threats, insults, unfounded allegations and misinformation".

READ | Ace Magashule decries removal from virtual NEC meeting

Ramaphosa said the ANC affirmed its “full confidence” in Duarte and supported her in carrying out her duties as per the ANC constitution – which also implies that she can act as Secretary-General in Magashule’s place.

The president said the party’s leadership has committed itself, according to the mandate given to it by its 2017 Nasrec conference, "... to restore the unity, renewal and integrity of the ANC, despite the very difficult and complex challenges of the current period".

He said, however, that NEC members, "... have expressed concern about a concerted and well-resourced campaign to sow division and confusion in the ANC, with the ultimate aim to destroy the movement as an instrument for progressive transformation and change".

The campaign, "... is actively aided by a few individuals from within the NEC, through leaks, deviant public pronouncements, protests and misinformation on social media," he said.

"The NEC agreed to take urgent steps to investigate the leaks from the NEC and any organised campaign to subvert the movement and to take appropriate action."

Rampahosa also revealed suggestions that the party go on a retreat, Covid-19 lockdown protocols allowing, "... to address varying perspectives among the leadership and develop a practical action plan to strengthen the process of unity and renewal".

WATCH: President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers closing address after ANC's NEC meeting

He said the NEC had submitted a report on the implementation of the resolution that all ANC members indicted for corruption and other serious crimes should step aside or be temporarily suspended pending the finalisation of their case.

This included Magashule and NEC member and ANC MP Bongani Bongo, both of whom were booted out of the meeting after attending for an hour on Saturday.

Ramaphosa said:

This meeting has confirmed the terms and conditions for elected office bearers and public representatives who have stepped aside or (are) temporarily suspended.

He continued: "These include that during the step-aside period, such an individual may not: carry out the duties and responsibilities of their office; represent the organisation publicly or in any other forum; make public pronouncements on matters related to the organisation; engage in the mobilisation of ANC structures, any other organisations or individuals."

A public representative, "... may not occupy any executive office or other position of responsibility in the legislative to which they belong", during this period, but they, "... will be entitled to remuneration and other benefits".

He said the step aside decision should be reviewed by the relevant ANC structure every six months.

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