In a statement on Monday the ANC confirmed that one of its employees at Luthuli House had been arrested earlier this month.
In a second statement, they said Errol Velile Present had been given “a letter of summary dismissal from its employ following his arrest and appearance in court on allegations of a number of heinous crimes”.
The party said none of its members could be involved in criminal activity.
“The allegations for which Mr Errol Velile Present was arrested for and the charges proffered against him are of serious nature that the organisation had to exercise rules provided for in the ANC Personnel Manual, terminating his service with immediate effect.”
The organisation said it would “immediately institute disciplinary proceedings against him and Present would have to “indicate reasons why the organisation should not immediately exercise its rights to temporarily suspend his membership of the ANC pending the outcomes of the disciplinary proceedings”.
News24 had earlier investigated and discovered that the staff member at its headquarters could only be Present, who had previously been implicated in R97 million scandal involving then minister of land reform Gugile Nkwinti.
It was reported in February last year that Nkwinti helped Present take over a R97 million farm in Limpopo, which then fell into ruin, according to the Sunday Times. The minister denied wrongdoing at the time.
“Bekendvlei Farm was bought for R97-million and handed over to Errol Velile Present, who had been working at Luthuli House for more than 10 years, and his partner, businessman Moses Boshomane, to manage,” reported the newspaper.
“The senior department official had prioritised the deal by bypassing required procedures. A day after the deal went through.”
Nkwinti was also a speaker at Present’s wedding.
“Neither Present nor Boshomane had an ancestral claim to the farm. They also had no experience in agriculture,” wrote Sunday Times.
The other three heist suspects arrested this month were named as Zakhele Zondi (37), Bheki Biyela (36) and Itumeleng Manama (40). They have been charged with armed robbery and for possessing hijacked vehicles.
Their case was postponed to July 31 after being arrested on July 6 and 7.
They were allegedly involved in a heist outside Capitec Bank in Soweto earlier this month.
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba had earlier accused the ruling party of having a criminal staffer on its books.
Mashaba on Wednesday made the shocking revelation that one of the suspects arrested in connection with a cash-in-transit heist worked at Luthuli House.
“Yesterday I was informed of the arrest of four cash-in-transit heist suspects, among them an individual believed to be an employee at Luthuli House, the national headquarters of the governing ANC,” Mashaba said in a statement.
“The suspects were allegedly involved in a cash-in-transit heist in Dobsonville, Soweto, which led to a manhunt being launched. Some of the suspects were arrested on July 6 while the remainder were apprehended in the early hours of July 7.”
Mashaba said the raid was conducted by a joint operation of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department’s K9 Narcotics Unit and the SA Police Service. He said four hijacked vehicles were recovered, two of which were used in the robbery.
“The arrest of this individual does bring into question whether the ANC has been aware of the arrest of this individual and, if so, why they have remained silent on such an important matter,” said the mayor, who is a member of the Democratic Alliance.
“It also begs the question of how the ANC, while running national government, can employ individuals who so brazenly undermine public safety and the rule of law in our country.”
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed the ruling party was “dismayed” that their employee had appeared in court for “involvement in serious crimes”.