The ANC Top Six have thrown secretary-general Ace Magashule yet another lifeline after it resolved that he could, among others, consult former presidents on the step-aside issue.
Johannesburg – ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has survived to fight another day.
According to sources, in his report to the national executive committee (NEC), Ramaphosa said that Magashule would seek the counsel of former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma on the step-aside issue.
There will also be a 30-day consultation process on the same matter with the party’s branches.
The sources also said that Ramaphosa’s report from the Top Six meeting – which was held shortly before the resumption of the NEC discussions that kicked off on Friday – was not well received by some of the president’s allies, who were determined to place the adoption of the step-aside resolution to a vote.
The sources also said that Magashule told Ramaphosa and other officials that he was prepared to call a media conference with the party’s branches to explain the fallout on the step-aside resolution.
It is believed he also said he would only be removed by the party’s branches at a special election.
Threats of a mass mobilisation of the party’s various structures against the NEC also played a critical role in convincing Ramaphosa and his allies to back down from their insistence that the step-aside resolution be put to the vote, said the sources.
They also told Independent Media that Magashule was supported by Deputy President David Mabuza in the heated meeting, which eventually agreed to put the step-aside issue on hold in the interests of rebuilding party unity and reconciliation.
This is a developing story.