Pretoria - Defiant ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has rejected his temporary axing by the ANC, saying the move is unconstitutional, factional and flawed because the suspension letter was signed by his deputy Jessie Duarte who had no powers to do so.
Magashule said last night he had since suspended President Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC leader in terms of resolution 8.2 of the party’s 54th national conference held at Nasrec in 2017. He urged ANC members not to “bow” to illegal and unconstitutional actions.
Magashule’s rejection of the decision of the ANC’s national working committee (NWC), the party’s operational arm, is likely to deepen tensions and trigger a political crisis in the governing party.
Insisting that he was issuing the statement “in my capacity as secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC)”, Magashule said Duarte “does not have the authority to issue such letters”.
“It is evident the deputy secretary-general does not have the authority to issue such letters. Thus, the letter is fatally flawed, and in fact unconstitutional. Furthermore, these letters are based on a selective and factional interpretation of the relevant resolution. I herewith announce that I am immediately, and formally, appealing this unconstitutional suspension,” Magashule said.
“In terms of the ANC constitution, my suspension is thus wholly suspended until my appeal has been heard and its final outcome announced. For the sake of fairness and justice to all the affected comrades who have received similarly unconstitutional letters, I as secretary-general – who is duty-bound to uphold the ANC constitution and all administrative processes – urge them to also follow the appropriate internal appeal processes. It follows that the suspensions of all affected members will also in terms of the ANC constitution be suspended with immediate effect.”
“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. This is done in terms of Resolution 8.2 of the 54th National Conference, which states that “...Every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices accounts to the Integrity Committee immediately, or faces DC processes,” he added.
Magashule also implored ANC cadres not to “bow to illegal and unconstitutional actions. In doing so we must protect the unity of the ANC as leader of society”.
This came after the governing party officially clipped Magashule’s wings yesterday, suspending and barring him from addressing public rallies. These strict restrictions were contained in a letter of suspension which was served on him and went viral on social media platforms.
In her letter to Magashule, Duarte stipulated all the conditions which he was supposed to adhere to or face penalties. Detailing reasons for his suspension letter, Duarte said: “You have been indicted to appear in a court of law on charges of corruption and fraud, alternatively theft and money laundering. On May 3, 2021, the NWC, acting in terms of Rule 25.70 read with Rule 13.8, instructed that letters be written to all the affected members, including yourself, to inform you that it has decided that their temporary suspension would be in the best interest of the organisation. Accordingly, on the authority of the NWC, you are hereby temporarily suspended with effect from 3 May 2021, until the final outcome of your court proceedings.”
Magashule was also ordered not to carry out the duties and responsibilities of his office as secretary-general of the ANC.
Duarte will now take over as acting secretary-general while Magashule and others are expected to report to treasurer-general Paul Mashatile about progress in the criminal case before a decision is taken to review their individual suspension.