I will not be moved - Ace

2018-01-29 14:28
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and national working committee member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma embrace at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Sunday.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and national working committee member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma embrace at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Sunday. (Suplied)

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Defiant ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says he will not be intimidated out of his new position by people accusing him of corruption.

He also said the ANC leadership had taken no decision to recall President Jacob Zuma.

Magashule was speaking during the provincial ANC Youth League's commemoration of the 106th anniversary of the party's founding at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on Sunday.

He said the ANC had resolved to fight corruption and he accepted that "the law must take its course".

In a reference to the Vrede farm investigation, Magashule added: "Don't write about us in the media ... they must investigate and decide. And if any wrongdoing was done they must act, without fear.

"They must not try to intimidate us because they want us to step down from this position," he said.

This comes after the Hawks seized laptops, hard drives and a copy of the server at the Free State premier's office. Magashule remains premier of the province and has occupied the office for nine years.

The raid was part of an investigation into the multi-million rand Vrede dairy project that the Free State provincial government handed to Gupta-linked company Estina.

He said there would always be those who try different tactics to divide and weaken the ANC. He said it was obvious to him the enemy was not going to sleep until the ANC was weakened.

"The intention is to make people doubt the ANC and for the leaders to start doubting themselves. So don't lose focus and start having doubts. You must work hard to renew and unite the ANC so that we go to next year's elections stronger as an organisation," he urged the packed hall.

Zuma support

Magashule also used the platform to call for ANC members to continue supporting Zuma as the head of the state.

He said people must remember that Zuma was deployed by the ANC to become the president of the country, so the ANC should not desert him now that he is no longer the party's leader.

"There is no decision that we have taken as the National Executive Committee [NEC] that he must be removed. It's only factional leaders, who want to be populist and want to be media darlings, those that don't know the ANC, who are making noise outside," he said.

He said Zuma, as the former president of the ANC, is an ex-officio member of the NEC and has a standing invitation to attend meetings.

"President Zuma never said he didn't want to step down after 10 years as the president of the ANC. But he did voluntarily say that he did not want to be re-elected. He said; 'I have played my part, I have served the ANC in many instances'," said Magashule.

KZN leadership

He urged all ANC members to respect the ANC leaders elected at last month's conference. However, Magashule said the newly-elected leadership "must talk and walk unity and they must not be divisive" if they want to be respected.

Magashule pleaded with ANC members in KZN to work with the interim structure as it prepares to convene the provincial conference in April.

"KZN is very important to the ANC. That's why you must close ranks. KZN has to be united because it is targeted because they want it to be weak because they know that if KZN is weak, the ANC becomes weak. This province also deploys the largest number of leaders to Parliament," he said.

Other speakers, including members of the suspended provincial executive committee, Sihle Zikalala and Mthandeni Dlungwane, echoed Magashule's sentiments on unity and fighting corruption. "Let us make sure that corruption is fought at every corner," said Dlungwane.

They warned ANC members to desist from engaging in divisive activities such as wearing shirts that were used to campaign for candidates ahead of the December elective congress.

"We must all wear the shirts of the ANC. If we see anyone wearing an NDZ17 or CR17, that person will be dealt with. Yes, it was painful when our preferred candidate did not win, but as disciplined members of the ANC we accept the leadership that was elected.

"Cyril Ramaphosa is not the president of a faction; he is the president of the ANC," said Dlungwane.

Read more on:    anc  |  ace magashule  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics

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