ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

The ANC has come out in defence of its Secretary General Ace Magashule, saying allegations by a British NGO that it has damning evidence of corruption during Magashule's tenure as Free State premier was the rehashing of old allegations that have never been substantiated. 

The party has leapt to Magashule’s defence, saying that there was a sustained campaign to tarnish Magashule’s image through the media with the charge being led by what it terms as an “alleged British NGO” that claims to be in the possession of "damning evidence" of corruption from the time Magashule ruled the roost in the Free State. 

“This so-called NGO is rehashing old allegations which have never been substantiated, the ANC does not see these allegations in isolation, but as part of a well-orchestrated and coordinated vilification campaign against our Secretary General and to further fuel divisions. 

“We reject the latest anti-Magashule installment with the contempt it deserves.  We urge the secretary general not to dignify these insults with a response,” said party spokesperson Pule Mabe.

He said that was not clear why this NGO would devote “so much resources and energy” towards pursuing narrow political agendas by seeking to tarnish the image of some leaders. 

“The question arises: Whose agenda are they serving? As the ANC, we reiterate our commitment to freedom of expression and  continue to encourage free flow of information as part of strengthening our young democracy. 

“However, malicious campaigns that target individual leaders of the ANC fail to advance the cause of freedom.of expression and nation building,” Mabe said. 

He said that the ANC believed that these allegations and similar ones were concocted by forces that are hostile to the national democratic revolution and that were “hellbent on sowing divisions within the ranks of the movement”.  

He added that these forces had invested heavily in a divided ANC and that this counter revolutionary agenda would not succeed.

“The ANC stands solidly behind its Secretary General and the entire leadership collective that was elected at the 54th National Conference. 

“We call on all leaders and members of the ANC to unite and expose these divisive tendencies from whatever quarter they may be coming from. Our unity and renewal project demands that we all stay vigilant against wedge-drivers,” Mabe said.

This story will be updated when Magashule or deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte respond.

Political Bureau