In response to a broader conversation surrounding Ace Magashule’s arrest, Gwede Mantashe has said that it will not break legal precedent by asking “corrupt” ANC members that are facing criminal charges to resign.
It has renewed a long-standing controversial legal precedent in South Africa, which holds that officials are considered innocent until proven guilty and that any resignation would have to be voluntary, as expressed by the ANC national chairperson.
“Stepping aside would be a voluntary act,” Mantashe said in a Sunday Times interview. “Forcing them to step aside would amount to suspension.”
This is in line with existing legal precedent and it is believed that the action that the ANC takes with Magashule’s case and the extent to which he keeps performing in his role as Secretary General will set the precedent when it comes to the issue of party leaders stepping aside from their positions in the future.
However, Mantashe has said that, while forcing people to step aside is not legal, it does not rule out the possibility of the party taking disciplinary action.