Magashule already made appointment with ANC integrity commission in Nov
Ace Magashule is set to meet the body made up of the party’s elders on Saturday in the wake of his arrest on criminal charges.
JOHANNESBURG - While President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the African National Congress (ANC) secretary general has agreed to appear before the party’s integrity commission, Eyewitness News understands Ace Magashule confirmed an appointment with the commission last month already.
Magashule is set to meet the body - made up of the party’s elders on Saturday - in the wake of his arrest on criminal charges.
He’s also been at the centre of fierce debates in the ANC around the party’s 2017 Nasrec conference resolution that members facing serious charges should step aside.
Magashule is facing 21 counts of corruption, fraud, and money laundering.
Both Ramaphosa and Magashule made a commitment to appear before the integrity commission.
It appears Magashule’s legal battle prompted him to seek an audience with the party’s elders a while back.
In letters, which Eyewitness News has seen, the commission tried to schedule a meeting on 28 November but Magashule said he was otherwise engaged.
Eventually, they settled on this coming weekend.
UKZN political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said Magashule had managed to buy himself some time.
“And by the mere fact of that pronouncement (of appearing before the commission) seemingly paralyses the NEC from carrying out its duties.”
Mnguni said this was happening in spite of the ANC’s constitution, which allows for a temporary suspension of Magashule.
The analyst said by preempting his own party, the secretary general has also set the tone for the agenda instead of having it dictated to him.
Magashule will plead his case on Saturday.
WATCH: Ramaphosa: Magashule to present himself to ANC integrity commission
At the same time, the ANC is calling for maximum discipline amongst its leaders and members in order to avoid further fracturing the governing party.
During his closing address Ramaphosa called out those who were at Magashule’s Bloemfontein court appearance in October.
Some were heard making inflammatory comments about the party and its leader – while others were seen burning the ANC’s flag along with t-shirts.
Ramaphosa said such behaviour was not welcomed.
“It is unbecoming for us as members to denigrate and desecrate regalia – including sometimes the flag of our organisation – the way some members are now seen to be doing.”
The ANC president also backtracked from his concession on Monday that the party was deeply divided – accusing some of predicting punch ups and walk-outs at its last NEC meeting for the year.
However, he said some have been making public utterances that are at odds with decisions the party’s structures had made.
“We need to desist as leaders of this great movement – the ANC - from public statement that are at variants with the decisions of the structure of the ANC and which are likely to fuel divisions amongst us.”