The party’s internal fights went down to the wire yesterday when secretary-general Ace Magashule suspended party president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte
Johannesburg – South Africa’s governing party, the ANC is on tenterhooks. The party’s internal fights went down to the wire on Wednesday when secretary-general Ace Magashule suspended party president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
Magashule, who first received a suspension letter signed by Duarte, came out guns blazing against Ramaphosa in the evening brawl.
The Star saw a copy of the suspension letter at 8pm, where Magashule said: “I have also, in accordance with the powers vested in me as the secretary-general of the ANC, and furthermore in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions summarily suspended the president of the ANC, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa.
“I herewith announce that I am immediately, and formally, appealing this unconstitutional suspension.
“In terms of the ANC constitution, my suspension is thus wholly suspended, until my appeal has been heard, and it’s final outcome announced,” he said.
“I as secretary-general – who is duty bound to uphold the ANC constitution and all administrative processes – urge them to also follow the appropriate internal appeal processes.
“It follows that the suspensions of all affected members will also in terms of the ANC constitution be suspended with immediate effect,” Magashule said.
The ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) reached a stalemate last month regarding a step-aside motion for members who face criminal charges.
However the national working committee (NWC) is believed to have endorsed a motion for Magashule to step aside following its meeting on Monday.
Sources inside the NEC revealed to The Star that Thabang Makwetla led the charge against Magashule but was met head-on by Dakota Legoete and Tony Yengeni.
Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan joined the fray, suggesting for Magashule be given seven days to vacate his office.
Magashule refused to accept any ultimatum.
ANC MP Bongani Bongo countered Gordhan by suggesting that the removal of a member of the Top Six must resort to a special national conference to determine new roles.
According to Magashule, a deputy secretary-general cannot suspend a secretary general and any suspension of members of the National Office Bearers must go via the NEC.
The NEC is expected to sit this coming weekend.
Magashule has accused Ramaphosa of corruption, saying: “According to the rule, all persons accused of corruption must step aside.”
The ANC enters what is arguably its most challenging season with factions intending to collide at Luthuli House today.
“A press conference will be called on Thursday and we will fight it off.
“The corrupt must step aside, even those who are protected by state organs,” a source told The Star yesterday.
The press conference is expected to be held this afternoon.
After numerous attempts, we could not get comment from Ramaphosa.
ANC spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said the party noted the letter Magashule wrote to Ramaphosa, adding: “The ANC request that the secretary-general respect the decisions of the NEC and subject himself to the discipline of the organisation.”