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What’s next for Ace Magashule?

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published May 8, 2021


Johannesburg - Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has previously warned his party to “wait and see” on his reaction on whether he would step aside or not.

While doing walkabouts and planting trees at various households in Naledi, Soweto, Magashule was asked by journalists: “Are you going to step aside?

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In his reply, Magashule said: “Wait and see” but was adamant that his blood is “black, green and gold.”

Unknown to many - Magashule was on a sojourn almost like a playwright to capture his motives in the form of a stage drama or a movie. His first counselling trip was to visit the former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa. It is not clear whether the meeting took place at Phosa’s plum office north of Joburg but indeed, the meeting took place. He had the blessing of the entire ANC leadership to consult with former veteran leaders.

One of the trips included a visit to Nkandla - former president Jacob Zuma’s homestead. There he was accompanied by his trusted lieutenant Tony Yengeni. All of them appeared on TV as proof that their meeting had taken place.

Magashule also met former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki - the latter, during his tenure, never appointed Magashule to a single government post despite him being the longest-serving ANC Free State chairperson. It is, therefore, on everyone's lips, what counselling Mbeki gave Magashule.

All the while, the 30 days deadline was ticking and no word from Magashule until the curtain fell on May 3. The ANC national working committee served him with a suspension letter written by his deputy Jessie Duarte. Magashule was barred from attending ANC meetings including NEC meetings. He was also ordered not to speak to the media about his suspension and related matters. It was on a Monday - he kept his suspension away from the media and the public.

On Wednesday, his 20-page suspension letter was on all social media platforms and news agencies.

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While media houses were punting headlines about Magashule’s suspension for the next day, he dropped a bombshell at exactly 8 pm that evening.

Without consulting his fellow ANC top six members, Magashule ordered: “In my capacity as secretary-general of the ANC, Jessie Duarte does not have the authority to issue such letters.

“I have also, in accordance with the powers vested in me as the secretary-general of the ANC and furthermore in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions summarily suspended the president of the ANC, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa,” Magashule said - more than a month after he told journalists in Soweto to “wait and see.”

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Now, as the ANC NEC is due to meet on Saturday - Ramaphosa and his cohorts are due a reaction to Magashule’s alleged unbecoming conduct of a senior leader of the party.

According to insiders, Magashule has violated the ANC constitution. One of them said:“In the ANC, no individual has powers to suspend a member. It is only a structure that has powers to execute a suspension. In his case, it was the ANC national working committee that issued instructions for his suspension and others who are facing criminal charges in courts.

“Even the president does not have powers to suspend a member.”

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Magashule’s letter is expected to dominate the proceedings of the NEC starting on Saturday.

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Political Bureau