Jacob Zuma homecoming used to defend underfire Ace Magashule
Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma’s backers used his homecoming party to express their support for embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Zuma arrived back in the country after receiving treatment in Cuba. His medical trip abroad led to him missing his court appearance at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
Judge Dhaya Pillay issued a warrant for his arrest, which she stayed until he returns to court on May 6.
ANC Free State provincial chairperson Sam Mashinini defended party members who displayed posters written “Hands Off Ace Magashule” during the event.
”Every member has a right to express his views about a leader. Magashule is a leader of the ANC and we support him here,” Mashinini said.
He said when members are saying that other people who are not happy can express their views but here members are in their numbers to support him (Magashule).
”Whoever is targeting the SG (Ace Magashule) is not going to win the battle, remember he was elected at a conference and that’s why members who spoke at the conference are the ones that are here,” Mashinini said.
Magashule’s former driver will appear in court next month over the theft of an R8 million Pierneef painting at the p remier’s office in OR Tambo House in Bloemfontein in March 2018.
The theft allegedly happened when Magashule, then a Free State premier was clearing his office to take up his full-time position as ANC secretary-general, to which he was elected in December 2017.
ANC NEC member and former Cabinet minister Joe Maswanganyi also shouted “Hands Off Ace Magashule Hands Off”.
Maswanganyi also took a swipe at President Cyril Ramaphosa for claiming that Zuma’s tenure as head of state was “nine wasted years”, saying this concept should be fought.
”In those nine wasted years, were they not part of Zuma’s Cabinet? Where were they in those nine wasted years?” the former transport minister asked.
Maswanganyi said the proponents of “nine wasted years” concept were in Zuma’s Cabinet but when they assumed higher positions they denounced their roles.
”It shows that they are not principled because it was not Zuma’s policies that we were advancing it was ANC policies,” he said.