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Ace Magashule In Hot Water Over Comments About Corruption

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule will appear before his party’s integrity commission over his comments that officials accused of corruption shouldn’t step down.

Magashule appeared for an interview with Newzroom Afrika where he said people shouldn’t resign from their posts simply because they’ve been accused of corruption.

“I will never step aside due to corruption allegations,” was the comment that made headlines. It is in direct contradiction to the ANC’s recent stance on corruption, with the ruling party aiming to save face on the allegations it faces in the midst of South Africa’s COVID-19 crisis.

What is of particular concern is the allegations of corruption that Magashule, himself, faces over a “dodgy” R200 million asbestos contract during his time as Free State Premier, as well as his role in the COVID-19 corruption scandal, as reported by The South African.

In a letter, dated 22 August, the integrity commission’s chairperson George Mashamba requested that Magashule appears before the ANC’s integrity commission.

“The integrity commission (IC) of the African National Congress has taken note of the interview that was conducted with you on July 7 2020 in which you are alleged to have said ‘I shall not step aside due to allegations of corruption’,” Mashamba wrote, as reported by Sowetan LIVE. “The integrity commission had initially hoped to meet you to discuss and clarify the interview with you on Saturday 29 August 2020. We were however advised that there is a special NEC scheduled for 28 to 30 August 2020.

“We therefore request your audience at any time of your convenience during the coming week,” Mashamba wrote.

This is just the latest in a series of corruption scandals in which the South African government and its ruling party, the ANC, has been implicated. The Essential Millennial reported on Former Eskom manager France Hlakudi’s R30 million tax fraud case earlier this week, as well as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson’s defence of a R125 million PPE tender at the end of last month. We have also criticised the President and the ANC’s newfound stance on corruption which is long overdue and is not resonating with the South African people, who have already lost a significant amount of faith in the party.

Magashule’s reputation precedes him and it will be an interesting development in the party’s steadfastness over its commitment to bring down corruption in the party. Handing out a just punishment to a senior party member may go a long way towards restoring faith in the party, but failing to do so could further damage its reputation.

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