Ace Magashule needs to find new home after ANC cracks whip and permanently expels him
The ANC confirmed the NDC met to deliberate on charges preferred against Ace Magashule after finding him guilty of contravening ANC rules and its constitution.
The ANC has finally cut ties with its former secretary general Ace Magashule, slapping him with permanent expulsion. This after he missed the deadline to oppose the party’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) disciplinary findings against him.
In a brief statement on Monday afternoon, the ruling party confirmed that the NDC met to deliberate on charges preferred against Magashule after finding him guilty of contravening ANC rules and its constitution.
“After a guilty verdict by the NDC, Comrade Ace Magashule was allowed to show cause why he should not be expelled from the ANC. Upon the lapse of seven days, the NDC had not received any representation to that effect. Consequently, the NDC confirmed the expulsion of Comrade Ace Magashule as a final sanction.”
The verdict comes after Magashule was found guilty of two counts of misconduct. This relates to his unilateral decision, without the authority to do so, to write a letter attempting to suspend party president Cyril Ramaphosa in May 2021 and cause chaos, which was quickly nipped in the bud.
During his disciplinary hearing on 23 May 2023, held on a virtual platform, he was charged with two counts of misconduct for contravening rule 25 of the ANC constitution.
ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula said one count relates to the letter in which he unilaterally suspended Ramaphosa, “and doing so without consulting and obtaining the necessary authority to do so from the officials, the NWC [National Working Committee] and the NEC [National Executive Committee] as required in terms of rule 25.6 read together with rule 25.7.0 of the ANC constitution thereby undermining the respect for or impending functions of any structure or committee of the ANC”.
Read more in Daily Maverick: ANC’s disciplinary committee hammers final nail in Ace’s coffin with guilty verdict
The second count relates to his failure to apologise to Ramaphosa, ANC structures and members within 48 hours after being told to do so — in line with an NEC directive.
Magashule can challenge the expulsion by going to the National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal, and after that to the National Executive Committee (NEC). Finally, he could make his case at a party conference, only due to be held in 2027, which would be unlikely to overrule the NEC.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Ace with no base – Magashule is staring at permanent exile from ANC
The verdict comes as rumours circulate that Magashule is planning to start his own political party ahead of the 2024 national elections.
Speaking to journalists earlier this month, he did not rule out the possibility of forming a political party in the near future.
“I don’t know if I will form another party … for now, I am still a member of the ANC. The people of South Africa have approached me … It’s not only people from KZN but all over South Africa. I spend a lot of time in Gauteng, the Free State and KZN, the North West and the Northern Cape, doing community service,” he said.
Political analyst Dr Ntsikelelo Breakfast said the latest development meant Magashule’s “political career in the ANC has come to an end…he needs to find a life out of the ANC.”
Magashule was suspended by the party in May 2021 when he refused to step aside voluntarily following his arrest in connection with criminal charges relating to a R255-million Free State asbestos tender, one of the many questionable deals under his premiership in the province. The tender allegedly saw multiple high-ranking government officials receive kickbacks from money that was meant to fund the removal of harmful asbestos from the homes of the province’s poorest residents.
Although Magashule has argued he had a lot to offer, politically, Breakfast believes his expulsion will not have a major impact on the ruling party.
“I don’t think that politically there can be a backlash against that, Ramaphosa has got a firm grip of the ANC now.”
Daily Maverick reported in January that the ninth ANC Free State elective conference marked the end of Magashule’s dominance in the province after his allies failed to dethrone Ramaphosa supporters in the top positions.
Read more in Daily Maverick: No friends of Ace: Magashule allies fail to land Free State ANC Top Five slots
On Sunday, Daily Maverick reported that Magashule could face new legal charges after President Cyril Ramaphosa authorised a fresh investigation into transactions during his premiership in the Free State.
On Friday, Ramaphosa signed a proclamation that gives the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) the green light to investigate several allegations, including those of serious maladministration and causes of fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the affairs of the Office of the Free State Premier when Magashule was at the helm.
Read more in Daily Maverick: While ANC expulsion looms for Ace Magashule, SIU opens investigation into his Free State bursary scheme
Magashule could not be reached for comment telephonically at the time of publishing. DM