ANC appoints high-powered legal team to oppose Ace’s court challenge

By Bheki C. Simelane 17 May 2021

Suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 17 May 2021 to support former president Jacob Zuma, who was appearing on corruption charges. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

Following a meeting of the ANC’s national officials on Monday, the party has indicated that it will oppose the court application by its secretary-general, Ace Magashule, to lift his temporary suspension.

“The African National Congress Officials met today, Monday 17th of May 2021 and affirmed the decision to oppose the application lodged by the Secretary-General Comrade Ace Magashule to have, among others, his temporary suspension lifted,” the ANC said in a statement.

Announcing the decision, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party had appointed Mazwai Attorneys as instructing attorneys, supported by three senior counsel and one junior counsel: advocate Wim Trengrove SC, advocate Ngwako Maenetje SC, advocate Fana Nalane SC and advocate Buhle Lekokotla.

The party’s move follows Magashule’s urgent application in the South Gauteng High Court last week to declare the ANC’s step-aside rule unconstitutional. Magashule argued that rule 27.5 of the ANC constitution, which authorises the stepping aside of party members facing corruption charges, undermines the principle of innocence until proven guilty.

Magashule is challenging the ANC’s decision to temporarily suspend him on the basis of the step-aside rule and wants his own suspension of the ANC’s and South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, declared valid.

He wants the party’s order for him to apologise to Ramaphosa for attempting to suspend him declared unlawful and unenforceable. 

The ANC’s step-aside rule first arose as one of the resolutions adopted at the party’s 2017 Nasrec conference. The rule states that ANC members who face corruption charges should voluntarily step aside from their positions. It allows for the summary suspension of members who fail to adhere to the rule.

Magashule faces charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering in connection with a R255-million asbestos tender during his tenure as premier of the Free State. Magashule is charged along with Free State Human Settlements head of department Nthimotse Mokhesi, businessman Edwin Sodi and Sodi’s company, Blackhead Consulting.

Earlier on Monday, Magashule violated his temporary suspension conditions when he addressed supporters of former president Jacob Zuma at the Pietermaritzburg High Court where Zuma appeared briefly on corruption charges relating to the Arms Deal.

“On the 26th of May [when the trial is due to commence], we will bring the whole Free State here. You must listen, not just ANC members… the whole Free State. So, we want the whole of KwaZulu-Natal here on the 26th if you support Msholozi [Zuma] and the ANC,” Magashule said. DM


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All Comments 11

  • With the ANC unable to to loot taxpayers money as freely as they did in the past to fund the party one wonders if they would pay the step-aside/suspended members indefinitely like they do to comrades being paid by government for years waiting for disciplinary or court charges to be finalised.

    • Don’t believe that the ANC is broke. There is plenty of money lingering around to support the cadres but that isn’t going to be used to do mundane things like paying salaries.

  • HMMM.I think he will be disappointed when “the whole Free State” turns up in the form of said ace and the other retard Zwani.
    I believe ace has a lot less support than he thinks he has. Looking forward to seeing this play out!

  • It appears the anc is scared that its decision to suspend ace was the wrong one. A lot of self-doubt is flouting around. Simple question: who has the moral highground here? It is a no-brainer. But hey, the members of the bar are laughing all the way to the bank with all the work coming to them. Who is paying? White capital, perhaps.

  • Hahaha. Dream on. Residents of this country including FS are trying to clean up the mess left behind by the human tsunami unleashed upon us by Ace et al. The whole idea is so delusional I hope they will have a team of psychiatrists at hand

  • Why is this going to courts? The ANC rules are not laws of our country? Wasting the courts time to deal with the ANC internal squabbling at the expense of tax payers is just another example of looting which ever way you look at it.


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