As Magashule heads to court, allies criticise ANC over handling of suspension

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is challenging his suspension, the party’s 2017 step aside resolution and has also asked the courts to affirm his authority to have issued a suspension letter against party president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ace Magashule, the suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, speaks ahead of former President Jacob Zuma’s address following the postponement of his corruption trial outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021.Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - As embattled African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule prepares to challenge his suspension before the courts, some of his allies have criticised the officials of the governing party for not managing the situation better.

Prominent ANC members, including Andile Lungisa, have wished Magashule’s legal representatives well, arguing that the ANC needed to have better internal mechanisms to avoid having its matters dragged before the courts.

Magashule is challenging his suspension, the ANC’s 2017 step aside resolution and has also asked the courts to affirm his authority to have issued a suspension letter against party president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

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He has also accused the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) of jumping the gun, issuing out the suspension without any powers to do so instead of waiting on the national executive committee (NEC) to affirm the decision.

In the long history of the ANC, no secretary-general has ever been placed on suspension – a move which MKMVA spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, has described as unfortunate, divisive and with a factional posture.

He told Eyewitness News that the association, which was meant to have been disbanded, supported Magashule’s bid, saying that it was not just the manner in which the resolution was implemented that was problematic.

"Both the interpretation and the amendment to the resolution of the 54th national conference with regards to stepping aside," Niehaus said.

Lungisa made references to the 2007 watershed elective conference which saw the rise of former President Jacob Zuma.

He told Eyewitness News that the ANC had been here before, comparing Magashule to his long-time ally’s journey to Polokwane.

In this, he questioned NWC processes, charges brought against Magashule and the role of some in the media.

The prominent former youth league leader said that the ANC needed to have better management of internal issues.

"Officials should have handled this matter of the secretary-general better, should have handled this matter with care," Lungisa said.

The High Court is expected to hear arguments in this matter on Thursday and Friday.

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