Suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Defiant Ace Magashule approaches Supreme Court of Appeal over suspension from ANC

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Aug 25, 2021

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Johannesburg - Suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule’s battle to fight his suspension continues as he now approaches the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal his suspension.

Magashule was suspended by the governing party in May in a letter signed by ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte in which the party said that he would be temporarily suspended until the outcome of his legal proceedings.

His suspension came after the ANC’s deadline for leaders implicated in and facing corruption charges before the courts to step aside from their roles had passed

In his application, in which the respondents are ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte and the ANC, Magashule argues that Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle and appointments of certain ministers had also included ANC members facing serious corruption charges.

He said that Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, endorsed by Duarte and the ANC, indicated the selective and factional application of the step-aside evidenced by the promotion and retention of ANC members who are facing serious corruption allegations.

In his application, Magashule cites newly appointed Finance Minister Enoch Gondongwana, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Deputy Minister in the Presidency Zizi Kodwa and retained Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe as those who were also facing serious allegations of corruption but had been promoted or retained in ministerial positions.

Last month Magashule lost his bid to overturn his suspension from the powerful position when the full bench of the South Gauteng High Court, composed of Judges Jody Kollapen, Sharise Weiner and Edwin Molahlehi, unanimously dismissed Magashule’s urgent application.

“The significance of the new evidence is that its acceptance presents a real possibility of destroying the very foundations of the judgment, which is premised on buying the dummy theory that the applicant’s suspension was motivated by some holy crusade to clean the ANC of corruption rather than the reality of factionalism, which, contrary to the belief of the court, actually exists in the ANC according to all the parties,” read Magashule’s heads of argument.

Magashule also argued that the court had failed to explain what happened to the Nasrec conference “category” of corruption, known as using money to influence conference outcomes, and how it disappeared from the list of step-aside offences.

“The national conference specifically identified persons who use money to buy conference outcomes to be subject to the step-aside rule. The court narrowed the rule to the point that such persons would not be subject to the rule. This is inconsistent with the conference resolution itself.

“It is difficult to define any conduct which results in the resolution of the target group of a resolution as anything other than a narrowing and amendment thereof. The court also erred in reaching the unsolicited finding that the suspension of Mr Ramaphosa was invalid. No party sought such a finding. In the absence of a counter application, the court was not permitted to make such a declaration,” Magashule’s papers read.

Magashule added that the court had mistakenly seemingly bought into the mythical lie that his suspension was really motivated by the need to introduce an alleged “turning point” in the supposed fight against corruption, and not the reality that the rule is factionally implemented.

“Were this not the case, then Mr Ramaphosa’s allies, who are prime candidates for stepping aside, would not be rewarded with promotions or appointments to the Cabinet,” Magashule said.

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Political Bureau

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