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Crunch ANC NEC meeting gets under way

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

Published May 8, 2021


Johannesburg - The future of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule continues to hang in the balance as the National Executive Committee (NEC) is expected to meet this weekend.

The NEC will hold a virtual special NEC meeting from Saturday until Monday.

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ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe on Friday told the media that it was "entirely unfair" to suggest that the ANC was leaderless.

"The ANC has a leadership. President Ramaphosa is the president of the ANC. There is no crisis in that.

"We need to be accorded the space to deal with the issues and the ANC will return and communicate with you all. The ANC has never been shy to communicate even the most difficult decisions it takes," Mabe said.

He clarified that the stepping aside rule did not mean “un-electing” leaders and thus Magashule remained as secretary-general of the party.

"You step aside, you’re not stepping down," Mabe said.

Political analyst Bheki Mngomezulu said if the ANC was serious about rebuilding the organisation, the NEC should decide to rescind both letters.

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Magashule was suspended this week for failing to step aside according to a party resolution.

He described his suspension from party activities as “fatally flawed”.

As part of his suspension, Magashule is prohibited from making public pronouncements or mobilising, and from party structures.

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A defiant Magashule then issued a statement in his capacity as the secretary-general of the ANC in which he said he was suspending Ramaphosa.

Mngomezulu said the manner in which the letters were penned was unconstitutional and if either party were to take the matter to court, the other would be found wanting.

"They need to admit they made mistakes and decide how to move forward.

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"There is a serious lack of trust and there is a massive need to be transparent," Mngomezulu said.

He added that he did not foresee the NEC meeting taking place in a "peaceful or polite" manner.

"The emotions are high on both sides and if there is no proper explanation on their action or inaction to move forward, emotions will flare up," Mngomezulu said.

ANC Veterans League president Snuki Zikalala said they were disappointed with Magashule’s conduct and the way things turned out.

“We expected Magashule to take this matter in a dignified manner, we know that it’s affecting him and his family but for him to defy the the step aside resolution, we are really disappointed, we don't understand what happened. We were not expecting this from him as the SG.The SG is a chief administrator of the ANC and he knows the policies of the organisation better than anybody,” said Zikalala.

Zikalala said for the secretary-general to do interviews and criticise everybody was unacceptable because he was contravening his terms of suspension .

“If he continues, it will be unfortunate that he can be taken to DC for contravening the terms of his suspension. The NEC that is meeting this weekend will decide what to do. I don't think we should gun for punitive matters for him.He is not targeted at all. This was a resolution taken by the ANC delegates who elected NEC members at Nasrec in 2017,” said Zikalala.

Zikalala said the veterans expected that the ANC would be united based on values and principles of the organisation, not just for the sake of unity.

Political Analyst from senior researcher at the Xubera Institute for Research and Development, Xolani Dube said the ANC was like a mad house.

“I don't think that the ANC guys even know what they are doing now. The sad part is that they are not controlling themselves, it's like they get a briefing from external forces, they are at a loggerheads, they are not seeing eye to eye. The ANC must tell us who is their handler,” said Dube.

ANC head of Presidency Sibongile Besani said the letter of suspension was the decision of the NEC conference in the context of unity renewing the ANC in their fight against corruption within the ranks.

Asked about Magashule’s letter to suspend Ramaphosa, Besani said: “No SG can suspend the president, the decision must come from a structure.

“This is one of the most unfortunate incidents because the only thing that letter says is an attempt to collapse the ANC, it is an attempt to not build unity. I didn't expect that from him. The NEC resolution is clear,” said Besani.

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Political Bureau