Johannesburg - ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has maintained that he will not step aside, saying he had appealed the letter of his suspension.
He also confirmed that as the secretary general of the party, he would attend the national executive committee (NEC) special meeting taking place virtually today.
“I am secretary general, you guys don’t want to accept that,” he said during an interview with SABC News on Friday afternoon.
Magashule and others who have been criminally charged were given 30 days to consult and step aside, but Magashule remains defiant.
He said he had met with former ANC leaders and was very close with them because he served as an NEC member under their leadership.
Magashule said ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu and former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede were facing charges yet they had not been asked to step aside.
“For how many years were Mabuyakhulu and Gumede charged but were not told to step aside yet Ace Magashule charged with fabricated charges now, he must step aside,” he said.
Magashule was suspended this week for failing to step aside in line with a party resolution.
He described his suspension from party activities as “fatally flawed”.
He was served with a letter on Wednesday after the party’s national working committee (NWC) meeting on Monday.
A defiant Magashule then issued a statement in his capacity as the secretary general of the party, through a Gmail account, suspending ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa in terms of resolution 8.2 of the 54th national conference, which states that “... every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in corrupt practices accounts to the Integrity Committee immediately, or faces DC (disciplinary committee) processes”.
Ramaphosa on Thursday said he was shocked and dismayed after receiving the letter of suspension from Magashule at about 10pm on Wednesday. He said the letter was null and void.
Magashule added: “I was dismayed to receive a letter from a deputy secretary general, I was also disappointed. I have been and will remain a disciplined member of the ANC. I will die in the ANC nobody will take me out.
“The ANC for the first time banishes people, under the apartheid they said stay at home don’t talk to anyone, don’t address people. It’s a banishment order, you can’t do this thing in a democratic South Africa.
“I am still fine, I am healthy, I am jumping like a tennis ball. I have no pain because I know that I have not taken a cent of the people of South Africa.
“The ANC is a movement of the people and I can assure you let’s wait for the processes of the ANC to take its course, I am not the one who is going to form another party as people say.”
It is rumoured that Magashule might be expelled this weekend.
“I have always respected the leadership of the ANC; I have always worked as part of the collective, I understand the movement. I am a simple humble leader of the ANC. Go to the ground they will tell you about me. I am not worried, I was there in the struggle. I will never go anywhere; I will die in the ANC,” said Magashule.