African National Congress (ANC) delegates sing at the National Recreation Center (Nasrec) in Johannesburg on July 31, 2022 following the conclusion of the party's National Policy Conference. (Photo by Phill Magakoe and Phill MAGAKOE / AFP)

In South Africa, the ruling ANC party wants to keep the rule that any of its officials accused of corruption or other crimes must resign during investigations. The overwhelming majority of ANC members at a party conference spoke out in favor of this path, said President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday.

ANC members loyal to ex-President Jacob Zuma wanted to abolish the rule. From their point of view, it can be used to persecute political opponents with fabricated allegations.

Zuma is being investigated on suspicion of corruption. He denies the allegations. Repealing the rule would also have allowed several of Zuma’s allies in local government to resume office.

Maintaining the rule will also prevent certain potential opponents of Ramaphosa from running for the 2024 presidential election in the ANC internal election at the end of 2022.

The ANC has been in power for nearly three decades. There is widespread public resentment over increasing power outages, a sluggish economy, government corruption and crime-related shootings.