“People don’t really understand that an attack on Ace is an attack on the resolution of the Nasrec conference and the radical economic transformation resolution.”
THE ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Dikgatlong region have come out guns blazing in support of embattled ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
The former Free State premier is facing charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering relating to a R255 million tender that was awarded to replace hazardous asbestos roofs in the Free State, where unlawful payments amounting to R873,550 were allegedly distributed.
Magashule and 15 co-accused are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein High Court on August 11, having been charged with 74 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and asbestos contraventions.
Magashule, who is out on R200,000 bail, was instructed to voluntarily step aside by the end of April or face being suspended by the ANC.
The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) implemented the ‘step-aside rule’ last week in an attempt to clean up the party’s image, in line with the ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa’s anti-corruption campaign.
Magashule has previously indicated that he can only be removed by the branches.
His allies believe that he is being “uprooted” to enable Ramaphosa to be re-elected for another term.
The spokesperson for the ANCYL in the Dikgatlong region, Thapelo Medupe, said on Monday that they would not be part of the planned nationwide shutdown in objection to Magashule’s removal, where calls were made by some of the secretary-general’s supporters to block national and access roads as well as key distribution points.
“The ANCYL in Dikgatlong Municipality is aware and disturbed by the ongoing plot to unsettle the ANC secretary-general (SG) through the step-aside resolution,” said Medupe.
He added that ANCYL branches in the region had sent letters to the office of the SG to raise their concerns regarding the step-aside resolution.
“Just in case you have forgotten, the SG is the engine of the movement/organisation elected by the ANC branches. He cannot be removed by anyone but the same branches that elected him, where 2,890 delegates voted for him at the Nasrec conference in 2017.
“What has gone wrong with you NEC? How can a big organisation such as the ANC even think of removing its own SG. We are turning ourselves into a joke.”
Medupe was convinced that the step-aside rule was being used to fight factional battles.
“It will eventually collapse our glorious movement. It is absolutely inappropriate for 86 NEC members to take a decision on behalf of the majority of 2,890 delegates.”
He was adamant that the matter should be referred to the national general council or special conference for review, so that branch delegates could deliberate on the matter.
“People don’t really understand that an attack on Ace is an attack on the resolution of the Nasrec conference and the radical economic transformation (RET) resolution. If we allow Magashule to be removed from office, state-owned enterprises will be privatised and the expropriation of land without compensation will never happen.”
Medupe stated that the move was a “political ploy to purge comrades” aligned to Ramaphosa and ANC provincial chairperson Dr Zamani Saul, upon instruction from the NEC.
“The Dikgatlong sub-region is 100 percent behind the SG. The RET is not a factional resolution but it’s a resolution that was supported by the majority of ANC members.”