ANC blasts Magashule for divisive comments

2018-02-04 06:00
Ace Magashule after the result announcement at the ANC 54th national conference . Picture: Elizabeth Sejake

Ace Magashule after the result announcement at the ANC 54th national conference . Picture: Elizabeth Sejake

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Embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule was grilled this week at the party’s national working committee meeting after his veiled attack on party president Cyril Ramaphosa.

ANC insiders told City Press that Magashule was told on Monday that his remarks in KwaZulu-Natal last weekend were uncalled for and divisive.

The ANC is working overtime to dismantle internal factions, which are threatening to divide the party.

Speaking at an ANC Youth League event last Sunday, Magashule told supporters to “stay focused”.

“It is just a matter of five years, comrade. The [elective] conference happens every five years, so let’s work hard.”

Former African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her close allies – former ANC provincial chair Sihle Zikalala, ANC Youth League provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo and chairperson Kwazi Mshengu – were also at the gathering.

Magashule’s comments came just two days after his Free State office was raided by members of the Hawks as part of their probe into state capture.

In addition to allegations that Magashule and his son have been involved in illegal dealings with the Gupta family, it also emerged this week that his estranged daughter reportedly made R9m from a property deal he helped her acquire.

Ramaphosa’s supporters are now baying for blood and counting on the commission of inquiry into state capture to make sure Magashule faces criminal charges.

An alternative to a legal battle between Ramaphosa loyalists and Magashule would be to summon the secretary-general to the party’s integrity commission for bringing the party into disrepute. Such a move could trigger a special national general council, where his removal would be on the agenda.

Insiders said Magashule cut a lonely figure in the national working committee sitting when those whose support he counted on remained mum.

“He was so shocked that his authority was being undermined, despite all the yes men and women he had in the Free State,” said the insider.

“He was apparently seething at the meeting and almost in tears. He was quick to attack, but he did so from a weak position.”

At the same meeting, Magashule was allegedly further humiliated when he was instructed to reconstitute the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provincial task teams.

Ramaphosa supporters from both provinces have cried foul over Magashule’s alleged abuse of power to convert illegal provincial structures into task teams.

A close ally of Magashule’s also disagreed with his approach, saying he was fighting a losing battle and doing it “recklessly”.

“There are no grounds for anyone to defend him,” said the ally.

Magashule was elected as secretary-general at the ANC’s national elective conference in December after beating Senzo Mchunu, Ramaphosa’s preferred candidate.

Read more on:    anc  |  ace maga­shule  |  cyril ramaphosa

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