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

Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule insists he is not a sell-out or dishonest and treacherous.

This follows allegations that he helped form the African Transformation Movement (ATM) ahead of this year’s general election.

In a bid to protect his reputation, Magashule has officially filed a R500 000 lawsuit against the secretary-general of the messianic churches, Buyisile Ngqulwana, at the Bloemfontein High Court.

The ATM was formed by the SA Council of Messianic Churches of Christ (SACMCC), formerly called African Transformation Congress (ATC), and Ngqulwana was the council’s general secretary at the time.

Ngqulwana accuses Magashule of aiding the SACMCC to set up the political party, including advising it to change its name from ATC to ATM when its application was rejected by the Electoral Commission of SA - a charge Magashule has vehemently denied.

In court papers filed this week, Magashule rejected the allegations and asked that Ngqulwana be stopped from making further such claims.

“As a starting point, I should emphatically state that I have never met nor have I ever spoken to Ngqulwana. The first time I ever heard about him was when the media reported about my alleged involvement in the formation of the ATM, as alleged by Ngqulwana,” Magashule said.

He said the allegations had damaged his reputation as a political leader.

“I have been perceived as a sell-out to the cause of the ANC. Due to Ngqulwana’s defamatory statement, I have been painted as dishonest and treacherous. As secretary-general, I lead the organisation on a daily basis. Trustworthiness and fidelity to the cause of the ANC are indispensable in my ability to lead the organisation.”

He added: “The strength of my office lies in the moral authority in commands from members of the ANC. If I am accused of being a traitor within, I am unable to discharge my duties.

“If I am known to be a traitor, I will never be called by the ANC again to lead - whether in government or within the party. The effects on me are severe,” Magashule said.

Ngqulwana said the SACMCC had not wanted to establish a political party but an alliance with the ANC, but Magashule had insisted they form a party and contest the 2019 elections.

“It is clear that Ngqulwana intends to continue making defamatory allegations against me. He has expressed no remorse for his defamatory allegations and I was left with little choice but to launch these proceedings,” he said.

The ATM has also denied Ngqulwana’s claims and is currently suing him for R2 million.

Ngqulwana said he planned to oppose both the ATM's and Magashule’s lawsuits.

Political Bureau