ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

’ANC placed secretary-general Ace Magashule in a conundrum’

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published May 5, 2021

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Johannesburg - The ANC has placed its secretary-general Ace Magashule in a conundrum following its decision to suspend him and other members facing criminal charges without an option of an appeal.

This is according to political analyst Prof Dirk Kotze minutes after the ANC spelt out conditions of the pending suspension of Magashule and others saying their suspension would be reviewed after every six months by the relevant structure of the organisation.

Kotze said Magashule and others have not been given an option to appeal the ANC’s national working committee decision.

“It was not a decision of a disciplinary outcome. Ace Magashule and others were clearly told to comply with the ANC decision. If they don’t comply, the only option for them is to go to court and challenge the decision,” Kotze said.

Kotze, however, conceded that the decision was a breakthrough for many in the ANC who had been battling since August last year to implement their party decision which was met with resistance for months.

“It is a significant decision in that there is no referral to a disciplinary committee. It is also implied in the statement that the ANC national executive committee will not discuss the suspensions during its upcoming meeting this weekend. It is a final decision,” Kotze said.

Other affected people include former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo; former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza; former Mangaung Metro mayor Olly Mlamleli as well as others serving as councillors in different municipalities in the country. The ANC’s decision came as Bongo appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday charged with fraud and corruption amounting to R74 million.

Bongo is charged alongside his ex-wife Sandile Nkosi, and 10 others facing collectively 69 counts of corruption, fraud, theft, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

The case against them was postponed until January 10 for plea and trial in the local High Court.

On Thursday, it emerged that ANC KwaZulu-Natal deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu – who is also facing a criminal charge of fraud and corruption – would be served with a suspension letter.

Mabuyakhulu wrote a letter to Magashule dated April 22, in which he offered to step aside, in accordance with the ANC’s national executive decision on March 29. He was part of those given a 30 days deadline to step aside.

Magashule was not available for comment.

He said he was involved in a meeting and Bongo did not answer calls after the ANC had made public its decision.

Announcing the party decision, national spokesperson Pule Mabe said the NWC had reaffirmed the decision of the NEC meeting held in March.

“The affected member must update the relevant secretariat on a monthly basis regarding progress with their case. The decision by a member to step aside will be reviewed by the relevant structure of the organisation every six months,” Mabe said.

Meanwhile, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has confirmed the stepping aside of its provincial deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu in line with the party’s NEC order for national and provincial leaders charged with corruption and other serious charges to step aside from their positions.

This comes as the party is seized with the issue of provincial and national leaders facing corruption charges and other serious charges being requested to leave their positions or face suspension from the party in accordance with the NEC’s resolution from March 26 to 29, 2021.

On Tuesday, KZN ANC spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela confirmed that Mabuyakhulu had written and sent the letter to the secretary-general two weeks ago.

“As the province, we will get the full report next Monday after the NEC meeting at the weekend which will process all those issues,” Ntombela said.

He said that although they were aware of the letter sent by Ntombela to the NEC and secretary-general’s Office, the letter was not for the ANC KZN PEC.

“He submitted the letter about two weeks ago, he didn’t wait for the NEC’s deadline. Ndiyema wrote the letter during the time period put in place by the NEC,” Ntombela said.

Mabuyakhulu’s decision comes as the deadline for those implicated in corruption charges in court has passed.

Mabuyakhulu is charged with allegations of receiving R300 000 in bribes from the organisers of the North Sea Jazz Festival during his tenure as KZN Economic Development MEC, after allegedly authorising the payment of R28 million to companies and individuals for the North Sea Jazz Festival which never took place in 2012.

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Political Bureau

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