ANC structures and members ask to join Ace Magashule's case against the ANC

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Suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.
Suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.
Phill Magakoe / AFP
  • A number of interested parties from the ANC have applied to intervene in suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's court case against the party.
  • The case is set down to be heard on Thursday and Friday. 
  • One of the applicants says he has the support of hundreds of ANC supporters, but can't prove it due to a lack of resources. 

At least three ANC structures in the Free State and four party members have applied to intervene in suspended and corruption-accused ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's court case against the party.

Magashule had asked that the party's interpretation of its 2017 "step-aside" resolution - according to which he was suspended - be declared invalid and that his suspension be reversed. The case is set to be heard in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday and Friday.

The ANC's Fezile Dabi region, the Arthur Pitso branch and the Jomo Marumo branch, as well as its secretary Pule Patrick Nthene and party member Thabang Lawrence Nkhoke, had made an intervening application in which they were asking the court to go one step further and declare that the ANC's "step-aside" resolution itself be declared invalid.

In their heads of argument they said they were "members and structures of the ANC in good standing, who also challenge the constitutionality of the step-aside resolution" which was adopted at the party's 54th national conference in Nasrec.

READ | Why is ANC outsourcing its step-aside rule to NPA, Magashule asks in court papers

Like Magashule, they also questioned the constitutionality of the ANC's Rule 25.70 on disciplinary action, "as well as the decisions by the ANC [national executive committee] and ANC [national working committee] as far as they purport to reformulate, redraw, and implement the impugned resolution".

In their heads of argument they said they and Magashule sought common orders and therefore they should be allowed to intervene "on broad considerations of convenience".

They argued:

Even though Magashule's challenge targets the NEC's repurposing of the impugned resolution, reduced to their essential elements, both the applications seek to challenge the step-aside regime and the decisions that resulted therefrom.

They also said that, although their application went further, their application as well as that of Magashule's "are about the legality or constitutionality of the so-called 'step-aside regime'".

Businessman Mutumwa Dziva Mawere, in his application to intervene, questioned the authority of ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte to depose affidavits on behalf of the ANC in Magashule's case. 

ALSO READ | Ace Magashule vs Thabo Mbeki: the gloves are off

Another applicant, Ntandoyenkosi Nkosentsha Shezi, a funeral undertaker and a vocal supporter and leader of the Radical Economic Transformation Forces, a faction in the ANC that supported former president Jacob Zuma, claimed that his "rights as an ANC member are affected in many ways" by Magashule's suspension. 

In his application, he stated that his "views are reflective of those held by hundreds of thousands of ANC members nationwide" but that, "due to lack of resources made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, [he] is unable to prove that fact". 

He did say that he had the support of more than 50 members from his branch, which was "only one of almost 4 000 branches in South Africa". 

Magashule is set to argue that the party's step-aside rule was there to target him and create a clear path for President Cyril Ramaphosa's election for a second term. 

Magashule, out on bail pending corruption charges, was suspended from his position last month after failing to step down. 

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