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ANC to discuss possible action against Ace Magashule for defying party

Suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 24, 2021


Johannesburg - The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) is on Monday expected to discuss its final preparation of a court challenge lodged by suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule ahead of the hearing next week.

Magashule has asked the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg to set aside his suspension.

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The NWC is set to discuss whether Magashule acted in defiance of the call by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) not to take organisational matters to court.

The court application lodged on May 13 came just a few days after the party had asked the ANC in the Free State to withdraw an application in the Constitutional Court, where Magashule and Sam Mashinini were challenging the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to disband the provincial ANC under Mashinini.

Afterwards, the ANC roped in former president Kgalema Motlanthe to help resolve the factional battles in the Free State.

Insiders maintain the NWC is expected to strategise around plans on how to deal with Magashule following his actions of undermining the conditions of his suspension.

Magashule addressed a group of ANC supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court when former president Jacob Zuma appeared for his corruption trial earlier this month.

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In his address, Magashule promised to bus in thousands of ANC Free State members to KwaZulu-Natal when Zuma appears again on Wednesday.

According to sources, the NWC is also expected to discuss utterances made by NEC member Tony Yengeni who alleged that state machinery was used to lay charges against Magashule.

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Yengeni, who also addressed Zuma’s supporters, made those utterances despite the fact that the complainant in the fraud and corruption charges against Magashule was the DA in the Free State.

In his court papers, Magashule said his removal from office was aimed at ensuring that the CR-17 faction which supports President Cyril Ramaphosa re-elects him as party president at its next elective conference in December 2022.

He made serious allegations against Ramaphosa and his supporters, saying the political ideals were to serve the interest of big business which is white and ratings agencies, while his grouping was looking after the interests of “the poor”.

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He further said: “The real motive behind my being purged is the desire to remove me, by hook or by crook, from the all-powerful position of SG (secretary-general), so that the road to the re-election of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his faction in the next national conference is made easier.”

Insiders say the court papers have irked the top officials and some of them want action to be taken against Magashule for allegedly breaching organisational protocol.

Magashule, in his application, also included transcripts of the audio clips which were leaked to the media to justify his claim that his suspension was based on factional battles within the ANC.

“I give all these details in order to support my fervent and steadfast belief that factionalism and not the face of some new-found anti-corruption clean-up is what lies behind my unlawful, radical and premature suspension.

“It would be demonstrably naive in the extreme to accept the opposite view, which is continued by some to mask their real intentions. At the core of the issue is the malaise of factionalism. There are no angels and devils, as the issues are carefully choreographed in the mainstream media, which supports the dominant CR-17 faction,” Magashule said.

The sources said Magashule would also come under fire for including the transcripts of the audio clippings in his court application.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe was not available to comment on the matter.