South Africa


Nail-biting meeting set to go into Monday as Ace Magashule hangs on

Illustrative image. Photos: ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule. (Photo: Leila Dougan / Background: Adobestock / President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: EPA-EFE / CHRISTIAN MARQUARDT / POOL)

It’s been reported that the meeting descended into chaos as opposing factions went toe to toe to push for the motion and to oppose it.

The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, which heard a motion that the party’s Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, must step aside from his role within seven days or face suspension, is likely to continue on Monday, March 29, overshooting its scheduled three days.

News24 reported that the meeting descended into chaos as opposing factions went toe to toe to push for the motion and to oppose it. An advertised closing address scheduled for 6pm had still not started by late Sunday, and was officially postponed after 10pm. City Press reported that different factions bickered all weekend long.  

Former president Thabo Mbeki fronted the move to get Magashule to step aside or face disciplinary action, and he was followed by other big hitters who also argued that the secretary-general’s office was obstructing the renewal of the ANC.  

The party debated the 2020 report of the party’s Integrity Commission, which made numerous reports last year, the most pressing of which was its December 2020 report which found that the NEC must instruct him to step aside because he has been charged with 74 counts of corruption and fraud along with his co-accused in the R233-million asbestos roof audit contract in the Free State.   

A motion was reportedly passed giving him seven days to step aside or face suspension and disciplinary action. This is the fourth NEC meeting where the Integrity Commission report has been on the agenda. 

In a lengthy political tit-for-tat, Magashule’s team argued against the motion and said that others named in corruption scandals, and who are politically closer to President Cyril Ramphosa, would also have to step aside. 

A team led by former president Kgalema Motlanthe has written a 14-page detailed process for stepping aside which has been passed by the NEC. But reports suggest that Magashule is sticking to his public view that only branches of the ANC meeting at a special national conference can make him step aside because he was elected at a national conference of branch delegates at the party’s 2017 elective conference.  

A different view is that the NEC has the power to act between conferences and that the party is a voluntary organisation that can discipline, suspend or order its officials to step aside even while a court process is still in progress. DM


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  • Come on ANC! It is truly wonderful to see this effort to clean house.

    Make no mistake, this will be the most important victory you will achieve in your lifetime.

    Don’t give up now. South Africa first!

      • If the implication is that the ANC alone ended apartheid then this is arguable. International opinion, many other organisations, individuals and governments were heavily involved. Within two years of trumpeting itself as the “liberators” the ANC was already tainted. Remember the arms deal? Etc, etc.

  • I will never vote for the ANC again but this move to dump Ace is a move in the right direction for the sake of the country. It will set an example for South Africa and for the the rest of the African countries on a way forward to handle corrupt leaders. Take note AU. No fear if you are innocent.

  • Get this putrid cancer that is magashule and his ilk out and drain the festering swamp. He is poisoning the anc and the country. He is nothing but an evil and deceitful thief, like his master, who should be sitting in jail for a very long time.

  • Regardless of the outcome of this impasse the Nation will decide at the next election……do not hold your breath, sadly the crooks have a very good chance of taking over again.

  • ANC – stop the cancer put South Africa first.

    Bring this sickness that has been visited on our society to an end, those people within in your ranks that have raped our state structures are more dangerous than COVID.

  • Absurd. This so called NEC has to be the most hopeless political “formation” EVER…they are all so inept that they wouldn’t be capable of punching their way out of a paper bag. And all the while SA burns….

  • Since we’re mostly commenting on the words not in the article, I’ll play too. Let’s hope a level of certainty comes out. of the meeting – allowing the ANC to work, so that it can firstly pay staff and then start dealing with the infighting as a united organisation. Nobody enjoys watching reruns.

    • Augean stables …. From Augeas – he is best known for his fabled stables, which housed the single greatest number of cattle in the country and had never been cleaned, until the time of the great hero Heracles took on the task……

  • Just wondering what is occupying most of the elected government’s time and effort…. Doing the governance job it is paid to do, fighting COVID and rescuing citizens stranded in Mozambique, or spending work time settling its own family spats. There seems to be some confusion about their role

  • This interminable infighting of the ANC is utterly ridiculous and exhausting ! Didn’t they already pass a resolution about corruption tainted members stepping aside? While they fight , who is running the country?

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