ANC rules out graft-policy review at conference

South Africa’s governing party won’t change a rule that compels indicted officials to step down from their roles when it meets this weekend to discuss its policy objectives, African National Congress Chairman Gwede Mantashe said.

“There will be no change of policy in this conference,” Mantashe said in an interview with the Johannesburg-based Mail & Guardian newspaper.

The so-called step-aside rule was introduced last year as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s bid to clean up the party in the wake of his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s scandal-marred tenure during which corruption became pervasive. A three-year commission of inquiry into large-scale corruption found the ANC responsible for keeping Zuma in office and therefore for the looting of billions of rands of taxpayers’ money.

Removing the step-aside rule may enable opponents of Ramaphosa to challenge him when the party elects its leaders at a conference in December.

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