IN QUOTES | Jessie Duarte: It is unheard of for ANC leaders to defy its disciplinary processes

26 May 2021 - 13:40 By cebelihle bhengu
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte could not confirm how many party leaders have stepped aside to date. File photo.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte could not confirm how many party leaders have stepped aside to date. File photo.
Image: Daylin Paul

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte says the ANC is treating the implementation of the party’s step-aside rule with sensitivity and is conducting all the necessary investigations to ensure it is carried out fairly. 

Duarte was briefing the media on Tuesday on the outcomes of the national working committee (NWC) meeting, and said ANC structures are encouraged not to rely on media reports but to conduct their own investigations into the alleged misconduct of leaders.

Duarte could not confirm how many leaders have voluntarily stepped aside to date.

She spoke highly about most party leaders, saying it is unheard of for senior officials to not want to protect the ANC and accept its discipline.

Here are five quotes from her address: 

Appeals for leaders who have stepped aside

“Rule 25(70), under which the secretary-general is temporarily suspended, does not have an appeal component. However, with any matter that goes to the integrity commission, the commission can, for instance, ask a person to step aside, we have put in place an appeal team to deal with that.

"So, the secretary general and any other person may appeal to that committee, based on findings of the integrity commission, but not on Rule 25(70)".

Don’t be too quick to suspend leaders 

“This is not a process we can deal with without sensitivity because it’s not a small matter. In one of the provinces which sent a letter, they thought a person may be criminally charged and we asked them to check again. When they checked, the charges had been withdrawn. We’re saying: don’t go with the media report; investigate, find the person and ask for paperwork.”

Raising ANC issues on social media 

“We’re concerned about social media utterances and outbursts. People who have the chance to raise matters in the NEC [national executive committee] or PEC [provincial executive committee] ventilate those on social media and attract all manner of support and comments.”

On Israeli war against Palestine 

“We will talk to Israelis but the Israeli state needs to understand we cannot be their friend when they are raining bombs on the people of Palestine. They can’t expect us to be sympathetic and have a friendship with people who do not respect human rights.”

ANC leaders respect the party

“It is unprecedented for a senior leader of the ANC not to want to protect the organisation in terms of Rule 25(70) and accept the organisation’s discipline. Most people who have stepped aside voluntarily do come back and they are given the space to offer their services to the ANC if they are cleared.”