ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile has responded to reports of a planned national shutdown in protest of the ANC National Executive Committee's (NEC) step-aside policy which would force party secretary-general Ace Magashule to vacate office by month-end.
Speaking at the national commemoration of Solomon Mahlangu in Tshwane on Tuesday, Mashatile said the party didn't have evidence of any meetings planning the purported nationwide shutdown.
The treasurer-general told the media that anybody planning a shutdown would be doing so out of bad faith and going against the organisation's constitution.
"For now, we're not concerned about that. We think the processes we put in place are unfolding in a way that we think is fair; in a way that we believe once we conclude those processes, nobody will complain that they've been treated unfairly," Mashatile said.
City Press reported that the supporters of the under-fire Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma were planning a series of national protests around the country.
The paper also reported that the shutdown would coincide with the 30-day deadline given to Magashule to step aside from his position given the criminal charges he faces.
Mashatile said ANC members, including those currently in the spotlight for wrongdoing, displayed "discipline".
"There's a lot of discipline in the ANC and cadres of the ANC know that things must be done in a proper way," Mashatile said.
The alleged move by the so-called "radical economic transformation forces" comes after the NEC took a decision that Magashule and other leaders criminally charged, should step down within the stipulated 30-days or face suspension.
City Press reported that the shutdowns will coincide with the 30-day period that Magashule has been given by the national executive committee (NEC) to step down from his position or face disciplinary action.
Among the supporters’ demands is that “the ANC recalls the president of the country and his Cabinet”.
The planned actions go against the directive given by the NEC, as enunciated by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his televised speech, that no party members are to convene media briefings, march or canvass support for any members who are criminally charged.
Circulars being distributed among the so-called radical economic transformation (RET) group call for the disruption of “key points”.
“We must block national roads, metro roads, all access roads to and from business hubs, and those access points coming to and from their rich suburbs,” it reads.
It also urges “progressive political parties, NGOs, civil organisations, faith-based organisations, the MK veterans, ANC RET forces and supporters of progressive policies” to join the “#CRMMustFall shutdown”.
It adds that “details of key points and logistics will be communicated” at a later stage.
SUPPORT FROM NEC MEMBERS AND REGIONS
In Magashule’s home province of the Free State, where much of the mobilisation is taking place, the secretary-general’s loyalists include senior officials who this week called a media briefing denouncing the NEC decision. They called on Ramaphosa to make the accounts of the funding for his campaign to become ANC president in 2017 public within 30 days.
A Free State provincial executive committee member said: “Don’t be fooled. Magashule still enjoys great support within the organisation [the ANC] and these sentiments [contained in the factional circular] echo the stance of many within the party.”