Magashule dispels speculation of a fallout with Zuma

ACT leader Ace Magashule at the National Results Operations Centre in Midrand. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

ACT leader Ace Magashule at the National Results Operations Centre in Midrand. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 6, 2024


Former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has dispelled widespread speculation that he has had a fallout with long-time friend and ally, former president Jacob Zuma.

The embattled leader of the newly formed African Congress of Transformation (ACT) also dismissed speculation that ANC veteran Lindiwe Sisulu was planning to join his party.

Magashule was speaking to The Star after the national and provincial elections that took place last week.

ACT made a dismal showing at the polls, amassing a measly 18 354 votes, or 0.11% of the vote.

In the Free State, however, Magashule’s party enjoyed enough support to earn a seat in the provincial legislature, with 11 589 votes or 1.39% of the vote.

Earlier this year, Magashule announced an amalgamation between his party and the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) led by Zuma.

After the election results were announced, the two parties showed a united front and seemed set to form a coalition.

However, rumours were rife that Magashule and Zuma had had a fallout following their time in the political wilderness outside of the ANC.

Magashule set the record straight with The Star as to why he had not joined the MKP before the elections.

The two leaders were allies in the radical economic transformation (RET) faction that was defeated by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s slate in the ANC’s 2017 elective conference.

“You must remember we started ACT five months before MKP was established and because we were already there when MKP was formed, it was difficult to tell our constituency to close shop and join the MKP.

“We had already registered and we registered without knowing, almost at the same time as the MKP, to register as a political party. But to start a political party, it happened earlier on,” Magashule said.

Magashule added that his party had meetings with various political parties, including the MKP, ahead of the elections.

“There was no political fallout at all between me and former president Jacob Zuma. In fact it’s just that I can’t mention certain things, but I have been in talks with the former president long before the MK (Party) was established … all progressive parties that we share the same ideology and principles with, we can team up with,” he said.

Magashule also dismissed assertions that Sisulu was planning to join his party after he launched it.

The speculation came after Magashule and Sisulu had a mini rally on the sidelines of the 2022 ANC 55th conference at Nasrec.

Magashule was barred from entering the conference after he had to step aside from all ANC activities after being charged for his role in the R225 million asbestos corruption trial.

“There has never been such a discussion with Lindiwe Sisulu,” Magashule said when asked by The Star.

Despite the defeat at the polls, Magashule is still adamant that the ANC, with help from the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), rigged the elections, an allegation that both the ANC and the IEC have dismissed.

Magashule insists: “If some of the leaders or counsellors of the ANC were found where the ballot boxes are, caught red-handed while allegedly working with the ANC … what do you conclude? Presiding officers give our votes to the ANC … The ANC was found with ballot boxes and ballot papers. What do you call that?

“In our strongholds, where we know where our support is and where we get 300 (votes) but were given 30,” Magashule said.

He said the result slips from the IEC were also full of discrepancies.

The Star