Ace Magashule sympathiser claims suspension was a 'coup'

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Ace Magashule, currently suspended ANC Secretary-General is seen at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Ace Magashule, currently suspended ANC Secretary-General is seen at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Darren Stewart, Gallo Images
  • Expelled ANC branch chairperson Mutumwa Mawere told the court party leaders were fighting each other "like animals". 
  • He said ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte had no authority to act for the ANC. 
  • Mawere was expelled from the ANC for "misconduct" in 2013.

Mutumwa Mawere, a businessman and former ANC branch chairperson, has accused the party of effecting a "coup d'etat" for suspending secretary-general (SG) Ace Magashule.

Mawere told a virtual sitting of a full Bench of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg that ANC deputy secretary-general (DSG) Jessie Duarte had no authority to depose an affidavit on Magashule's behalf because the deputy secretary-general had no powers without a secretary-general in place.

"You can't have a DSG without an SG. Once you have removed the SG in the manner that you have, what remains?"

"What does the frame of the [ANC] constitution mean? Does it mean that the officials can arbitrarily fight each other like animals?" he asked.

His application to intervene in Magashule's challenge to his suspension was the first to be heard when the hearing kicked off on Thursday morning. It is one of three applications - all brought on different grounds. 

Mawere said his intervention was "predicated on my own issue" and the details weren't submitted to the court.

READ | Man arrested for R5m Lotto fraud 

He said because Duarte was supposed to deputise Magashule, she had no authority if Magashule was removed. 

"What is her relationship to the NEC outside the SG?" he asked. "What is her bridge to the SG?" 

He also complained that his "membership fees" were being used to litigate a "dog fight" in the ANC. 

Ngwako Maenetje, SC, who represented the ANC, pointed out that there were clauses in the ANC's constitution that stated the deputy secretary-general "deputises" the secretary general, and said this also meant she had to carry out his functions if he was unable to.

He also pointed out that Mawere's suspension for misconduct was different to Magashule's circumstances, and said Mawere therefore had no interest in the outcome of Magashule's application.

Judge Jody Kollapen ruled half and hour later that Mawere's application to intervene - which was unopposed - did not meet the legal requirements. It was dismissed with costs.

Mawere was expelled from the ANC for "misconduct" in 2013.

READ | 'Vengeful spite' and 'publicity seekers': Ace Magashule, ANC meet in court

Kollapen also ruled on the two other intervention applications. One was lodged by three ANC structures and two members in which they argued that the ANC's step-aside resolution was unconstitutional. The third application was lodged by Radical Economic Transformation Forces leader Nkosentsha Shezi, on the basis that Magashule's expulsion was a violation of the rights of thousands of ANC members.

With reference to the applications to intervene that were brought after Magashule's application on 1 June, Kollapen said "that while they may raise issues of relevance to membership of the ANC in their relation to the ANC, they do not satisfy any of the requirements for urgency"and said none of the applicants advanced any cogent arguments for the relief they sought.

He dismissed these with costs.

Magashule has turned to the court to have his suspension overturned on the basis that it was unconstitutional and against the party's constitution.

Following the rulings in the intervention applications, Dali Mpofu, SC, on Magashule's behalf, started setting out his case. 

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