ANC veterans call on Ramaphosa to act against Magashule over racist utterance

ANC secretary-general Ace Magasule told Philippi residents in the Western Cape that they must not vote for 'umlungu' or a white person.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule at an NEC meeting in Irene on 1 April 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) veterans have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against the party's secretary-general Ace Magashule for what they say are racist utterances he made while campaigning at the weekend.

Magasule told Philippi residents in the Western Cape that they must not vote for “umlungu” or a white person.

The elders said that this is unacceptable and goes against the freedom charter and constitution of the ANC.

Party veteran Mavuso Msimang said that Ramaphosa must urgently take action against Magashule.

“We can’t believe that a leader of the ANC would campaign on such racist lines. There’s no other way of explaining it but as racist, totally against the beliefs of the African National Congress.”

Meanwhile, Magashule could be fined or face jail time after giving a woman R400 while electioneering, should he be found guilty of flouting the Electoral Code of Conduct.

This comes after the Democratic Alliance (DA) filed a complaint with the IEC over the cash handover which took place during the ANC’s door-to-door campaign in Cape Town on Saturday.

The Electoral Code of Conduct prevents political parties and its members from offering any inducement or reward to a person to vote for an organisation.

Just last month, all political parties taking part in this year’s national and provincial elections signed the code of conduct which binds them to the stipulations set out by the IEC.

While the sight of politicians offering cash to potential voters is not new in South Africa, the DA has taken exception to Magashule’s actions, saying that he has done so repeatedly.

The DA’s Mike Moriarty said: “We have pointed out to the IEC both the fact that there has been a contravention and also that the chief electoral officer has an obligation in terms of the Act to investigate the matter and ensure a free and fair election.”

If Magashule is found guilty of the offence, the Electoral Court could impose penalties including a formal warning, a fine not exceeding R200,000 and forfeiture of the party’s deposit.

The prospect comes as South Africans count down to the elections next month which are being contested by a record 48 political parties.