The people do love me – Ace

2012-12-18 10:41

A seething Free State premier challenges the courts to organise his provincial conference after the provincial executive is disbanded, writes Pieter Steyn

Free State Premier Ace Magashule has challenged “the courts” to come and organise “his” provincial conference.

“They won’t be able to”, a seething Magashule told Mangaung24 yesterday outside the ANC’s plenary tent for its 53rd elective conference.

Magashule said he disagreed with the Constitutional Court’s ruling that outlawed the provincial executive committee (PEC) and the ANC national executive committee’s (NEC’s) subsequent decision to disband the PEC.

The veteran politician said: “The NEC recalled the PEC. They tell me it’s because of the court judgment. I don’t agree with that.”

He was appointed by the NEC as part of an interim task team in the province – something that the disgruntled members who took the ANC to court now challenge.

A visibly upset Magashule exclaimed: “That bunch (the disgruntled members) wants me out of the task team. Why? Are they crazy? I’ve got more rights than them. They are no longer members of the ANC. They were suspended. I am an NEC member!”

According to his understanding, the disgruntled members were all suspended in terms of a decision by the party’s national general council in Durban that all ANC members who take the party to court will be kicked out.

“The only law I care about in this case is the constitution of the ANC. The courts can try to come and organise my provincial conference. They won’t be able to.”

Magashule believes he will be elected provincial chairperson unopposed when the province reruns its conference in three months’ time.

“I don’t even have to visit branches. They love me. I’m their premier. I’m their chair,” Magashule said confidently.

According to him, he has invited the disgruntled members on numerous occasions to discuss their grievances with him, but they have refused. He is no longer willing to talk to them.

“They must now talk to the secretary-general (Gwede Mantashe), the president and the courts they love so much. I’m done talking,” he said.

Magashule was convinced that President Jacob Zuma would be reelected. “He will be reelected. Even if I have to do it personally,” he said.

Yesterday, Magashule withdrew his nomination as party chair in favour of incumbent Baleka Mbete.

Magashule’s spokesperson William Bulwane said his decision was informed because of the Free State being in a voting block with KZN, Eastern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga.

Mbete is originally from KZN.

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