UPDATE | Ace Magashule decries removal from virtual NEC meeting

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Ace Magashule.
Ace Magashule.
Fani Mahuntsi/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • Ace Magashule was removed from the ANC's NEC meeting on Saturday. 
  • His appearance in the virtual meeting resulted in a fierce debate that lasted more than an hour. 
  • Magashule remained defiant when he spoke to News24 afterwards. 

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has decried his removal from a virtual ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Saturday, saying there was no basis for his booting. 

Speaking to News24, he said when the ANC's NEC meeting began, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte informed it he had appealed his suspension. 

But supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa were vehemently against his participation. 

"That meeting was convened by me. I called that meeting. But because we were on Zoom, I was just switched off," Magashule said. 

The debate about whether he and ANC MP Bongani Bongo, who is also facing criminal charges, should step aside is said to have lasted over an hour. 

Bongo was also kicked out of the meeting.

Their supporters insisted the pair remained in their position. 

"I am still the secretary-general of the ANC. I will do my work. I will hold meetings. I will campaign," Magashule said. 

READ | ANC Women's League hangs Magashule out to dry after Bathabile Dlamini loses control of meeting

Before the meeting began, the suspended secretary-general took part in a meeting with the ANC Women's League's national working committee.

But that meeting was said to be brief because ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe shot down league members who sought to engage the ANC on the party's step-aside policy.

Magashule said no one questioned his appearance in that meeting early on Saturday. 

"Comrades just said to them that there is an NEC of the ANC. The president and SG [secretary-general] of the women's league can raise their issues there," he said.

His supporters questioned why the meeting was virtual after the last one resolved to hold physical meetings. 

A defiant Magashule stood by the appeal to his suspension and insisted his letter suspending Ramaphosa stood. 

He, however, noted he had not spoken to Ramaphosa since the drama unfolded on Wednesday.

When Magashule exited the meeting, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his political overview, according to sources. 

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