The ANC finds itself facing friction within its ranks following the suspension of ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule.
Officially suspended on 3 May 2021, the Gov bigwig received communication signed off by his deputy-secretary Jessie Duarte notifying him of the decision.
Magashule is currently the most senior leader affected by the party’s 2017 Step-Aside Resolution – which stipulates ANC officials facing corruption or serious criminal charges should step aside or face suspension.
The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) resolved this matter last month – where Magashule and others affected were granted 30 days to step aside. However, Magashule refused to do, thus his suspension.
The charges against the ANC top dog include fraud, corruption and money laundering related to a failed multi-million rand asbestos project dating back to his tenure as Free State premier.
His suspension sees him prohibited from participating in numerous political activities and making public pronouncements.
However, in a twist of events, the suspended Secretary-General has attempted to turn the tables on the ANC by issuing a letter and ‘suspending’ President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In his letter to the President, Magashule claimed that as Ramaphosa was facing allegations of vote-buying during his CR17 campaign to become party president, he (Magashule) was temporarily suspending the President in the best interest of the organisation. The suspended official has also forbidden Ramaphosa from carrying out any duties as the President of the ANC.
The ANC has since lashed back, stating that while they take note of his letter, the decision for Magashule’s suspension stands. Accordingly, the Secretary-General should not only respect the decision but also subject himself to the organisation’s discipline. With the ANC facing turmoil, DA leader John Steenhuisen states, “The events of the past 24 hours have confirmed that South Africans stand before a choice that will define our country for a generation. The choice before us is this: will we sit back and allow the civil war inside the ANC to drag us into a constitutional crisis from which our democracy may never recover, or will we seize the moment to finally break free from ANC rule to save our country?”
He further said that on the one hand, it was clear that Ace Magashule and his fellow bandits will not hesitate to burn the country to the ground to hang onto their ill-gotten gains and stay out of jail. “On the other hand, it is clear that Cyril Ramaphosa’s feeble strategy of appeasement has backfired spectacularly on a President who puts the preservation of his party over the interests of our country.”
Moreover, he highlights that these are the first shots fired in what is set to become a fight to the death inside the ANC. “But make no mistake about it: none of the factions involved in this war are fighting for the people of South Africa. They are all fighting for control over the industrial-scale patronage machine that the ANC has become. And because the ANC is currently still the majority party in South Africa, the damage will inevitably spill-over into our society, which is already suffering under the greatest health and economic crisis of our lifetime. The reality is that the people of South Africa will be the true victims of this civil war if we don’t urgently end the era of ANC political domination.”
Steenhuisen further claims the ANC and the vision of a prosperous South Africa can no longer co-exist. He states, “That is why I will be calling for an urgent debate of national importance in Parliament on the threat posed to our democracy by the civil war inside the governing party and the need for us to realign our politics to save our country. We have arrived at a time for choosing, and the DA unashamedly chooses to put the rights, needs, and future of South Africans first.”
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