Supra Mahumapelo calls on ANC to suspend its 'step aside' resolution, says it's in conflict with SA constitution

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo's ally, Wendy Nelson, has been snubbed.
Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo's ally, Wendy Nelson, has been snubbed.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse

Suspended former chairperson of the ANC in the North West, Supra Mahumapelo has called on the party to suspend the application of its “step aside” resolution until its next national conference.

Mahumapelo argued that aspects of that resolution are unlawful and the ANC would lose if it were to be challenged in court.

“My own view as SOR Mahumapelo, I am saying parts of that resolution which are in conflict with the law must be suspended until we go to the next national conference,” he said on Sunday.

He was addressing ANC branches in Delareyville, North West just days after the interim provincial structure that runs the affairs of the party in that province suspended his ANC membership.

Mahumapelo called on the branches to write to the national executive committee [NEC] to say some aspects of the resolution are in conflict with the law and to address the problem, those aspects should be sorted at the party's next national conference in December 2022.

He said the national conference, and not the NEC was the only structure that can remedy those defects.

“Then there will be peace in the NEC,” he said to loud applause.

Mahumapelo read out the resolution which states that members who are accused of corruption and reportedly involved in corruption should step aside.

“We are not saying people must not step aside, we are just saying the process must be neat,” he said.

He suggested that the resolution falls short as it does not explain “who is an accused” and also does not say “when a member is reported where” as members could be reported to a police station, public protector, Hawks, SIU, Luthuli House, the integrity commission or to an ANC branch chairperson.

“It says such people must summarily be suspended because they refuse or they fail to give acceptable explanation and the resolution doesn't say who comes to a decision that your explanation is acceptable,” he said.

The assumption however is that the structure that should deal with the acceptability of the explanation given is the integrity commission. But the commission should be able to give the tool it used to arrive at its decision of acceptability. So far, it does not have such a tool, he said.

Mahumapelo said the resolution also said the ANC must respect the constitution of the republic and the rule of law.

“When we force you to step aside and you don't do voluntarily and we push you into the DC, we are flouting the constitution of the republic because the constitution of the republic says you are innocent until proven guilty.

“It means if we remove you from your position by force … we are flouting the constitution of the country and the ANC can't flout the commission of the country.”

“If anybody can go to court and challenge the legality of the decisions of the NEC on the rights that must accrue to citizens that happen to find themselves in the ANC, anybody who can go to court will win in court against the ANC because our decision is flouting some aspects of the law of the republic,” he said.

Following the Nasrec conference, and before publishing the resolutions of conference, the NEC should have consulted the best lawyers in the country who would have checked that every clause of the ANC resolutions complies with the laws of the republic, said Mahumapelo.

“It's quite clear that was not done, because if it was done, the experts in law would have told us that some parts of the resolutions are in conflict wit the law of the republic,” he said.

Suspending parts of the resolution which are in conflict with the law, the ANC would be complying with its resolution and at the same time be in compliance with the laws of the country.

He said the party's leadership would then call in the members who are accused, arrested and so on, and engage them and the outcome of those engagements would possibly see people voluntarily stepping aside.

“The leadership must not run out of patience to engage comrades whose standing in society might be such that it is affecting the standing and integrity of the ANC.”

He suggested that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule who has about a week to step-aside, was being targeted by some in the party who never accepted his election at Nasrec.

He said they have found an opportunity to get at him through the step-aside resolution.

About his suspension, Mahumapelo revealed that he has written to the party's national disciplinary committee of appeal to set aside the suspension.

“We are fighting that suspension. The suspension is meant to threaten us, the suspension is meant to make us afraid, it's meant to suppress us and it is meant to damage our political reputation and standing in the eyes of the people.

“How can you suspend a person for going to a meeting, for talking. None of the people in the hall complained. The person who complained is someone who was not in the meeting,” he said.

The ANC's interim provincial committee in the North West temporarily suspended Mahumapelo's party membership on Wednesday, pending an outcome of the party's disciplinary process.

He is accused of addressing a gathering at which he advised a local mayor to ignore the interim structure's instruction to resign from office.

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