- Ace Magashule has hit back against his suspension, attempting to suspend President Cyril Ramaphosa.
- In a contentious letter, Magashule said he would appeal the decision
- The ANC said it had noted the letter, but Magashule's suspension stood.
Embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is appealing his suspension from the party and has in turn, sought to suspend President Cyril Ramaphosa.
"I have also, in accordance with the powers vested in me as the secretary-general of the ANC, and furthermore in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions, summarily suspended the president of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa," he said on Wednesday.
In a letter, drafted 3 May, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte informed Magashule he was temporarily suspended.
As it happens, Ace is no longer the Secretary General of the ANC. And even if he were, he would have no such constitutional powers.— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) May 5, 2021
Firing back at Duarte in a statement on Wednesday, Magashule said she did not have the authority to issue such letters.
"Thus the letter is fatally flawed, and in fact unconstitutional. Furthermore, these letters are based on a selective and factional interpretation of the relevant resolution," Magashule said.
"I herewith announce that I am immediately, and formally, appealing this unconstitutional suspension. In terms of the ANC constitution, my suspension is thus wholly suspended, until my appeal has been heard, and its final outcome announced."
He urged those in the party, who had received similar letters, to follow the appropriate internal appeal processes.On the move to "suspend" Ramaphosa, Magashule said this was done in terms of the resolution to step aside.
He is out on R200 000 bail and is being charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering related to a Free State asbestos tender.
The ANC's Pule Mabe said late on Wednesday the party had noted Magashule's letter.
"The decisions of the national executive committee [NEC] and national working committee [NWC] stand. The NEC will be meeting over the weekend and will accordingly respond to the secretary-general. The ANC requests that the secretary-general respect the decisions of the NEC and subject himself to the discipline of the organidation," he added.
Duarte told Magashule that, as part of his suspension, he may not carry out his duties and responsibilities as secretary-general; he may not represent the organisation publicly; and he cannot make public pronouncements nor can he mobilise ANC structures.
"You may not engage in the mobilisation of ANC structures, any other organisations or individuals, including on your stepping aside and matters related thereto."
On Monday, the NWC gave the green light to suspend all party leaders criminally charged who did not step aside within the 30-day deadline, which expired last week.
Magashule rejected a push that he step aside, insisting he could only be removed by a conference of the ANC.
"You are required to update the Office of the Secretary-General on a monthly basis, regarding the progress with your case. The decision to temporarily suspend you will be reviewed by the NEC every six months, or from time to time at your request," Duarte said in her letter to him.