The cracks are starting to emerge within the ANC’s secretariat as the party’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has called out secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Duarte has urged Magashule to instruct his supporters to stop putting the party into disrepute while acting in his name.
This is after Magashule’s loyalists protested in front of Luthuli House in a show of support as he is set to step aside from the party at the end of April.
The group demonstrated their disdain with placards against the step aside rule Magashule and other members in the party who have been charged with criminal activity are facing.
They called for President Cyril Ramaphosa and his allies in the party, like Pravin Gordhan and Zizi Kodwa, to also step aside.
In an unexpected move, Duarte has now spoken out against Magashule during an interview with the SABC.
She said she was disappointed that Magashule supporters were comfortable to use his name negatively and he had not addressed the matter.
“There’s no knowledge I have that he personally put emblems on buses, but these people are doing things in his name and that is problematic. People use the secretary-general’s name for whatever reason that they might have in a negative manner and I think it is wrong. I’m disappointed that the secretary-general has not come out to say not in my name. I’ll really urge him to say ‘not in my name’. I think that is helpful and that will help the organisation,” she said.
Magashule is among the ANC leaders facing pressure to step down due to the party’s resolution that all members who are charged with corruption and other serious crimes should step aside.
He faces fraud and corruption charges in the Bloemfontein High Court emanating from his tenure as Free State premier over an asbestos audit contract scandal.
Last month, the party’s national executive committee (NEC) agreed that those charged with serious criminal offences should step aside.
“All members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they should be suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution. The meeting emphasised that the 30-day period will be to enable the implementation of the decision in line with the guidelines, not to review the decision,” read the NEC resolution.
Speaking to the SABC, Duarte said that she was forced to implement the decisions of the committee and abide with what the national working committee (NWC) has advised.
This includes forcing Magashule to step aside should he refuse to after the 30-day period.
“From where I am standing, I have to implement the decisions of the NEC as a cadre of the movement and I have to abide by what the NWC has outlined as the task that must flow out of those decisions,” she said.
Earlier this week, an audio clip of Duarte criticising the Zondo commission and the judiciary in general started making the rounds on social media.
In the clip, Duarte is against the former president Jacob Zuma appearing before the commission.
“What is concerning is that Comrade Zuma articulates the flaws that we have in the judiciary very well. For example, it has turned into a court of law, it is no longer a commission. They almost have a prosecutorial attitude towards people who come to give evidence…
“Going to the commission under (Deputy Chief Justice Raymond) Zondo, personally, I believe it is not a good thing for Comrade Zuma to do, given the personal and historical antagonism that exists between them.”
Zuma snubbed the state capture commission again earlier this year by refusing to honour a summons for him to appear before Zondo until the review application to set aside Zondo’s refusal to recuse himself has been finalised by the court.