Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has turned to the court to challenge his suspension
THE TOP officials of the ANC are expected to meet on Monday after party secretary-general Ace Magashule hauled the ruling party to court for its decision to suspend him.
Magashule’s allies are backing him with some of the branches meeting in the Free State on Saturday to discuss the ’step aside’ issue.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa and four other top officials, including his deputy David Mabuza, chairperson Gwede Mantashe, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and treasurer Paul Mashatile, would discuss Magashule’s court challenge on Monday.
“The ANC has noted court papers filed by the suspended secretary-general, Ace Magashule. The ANC will communicate its way forward on Monday following the regular meeting of national officials,” said Mabe.
In March, the NEC urged members who faced criminal charges in court to step aside or face disciplinary action if they failed to do so within the prescribed period of 30 days.
Magashule faces corruption charges in the Bloemfontein High Court regarding a R255 million asbestos audit contract while he was Free State premier.
Legal expert, Nthabiseng Dubazana said no one or no party is immune from the legal process and it was well within his (Magashule’s) right to challenge the decision.
“If not allowing me (Magashule) to challenge my suspension, the next step is to take you through to court to have an independent person look at a framework of the step aside rule and the Nasrec agreement and look at my argument saying what is happening currently is not either legal or is aimed directly at me because it does not seem like it is being applied to all members of ANC.
“From a legal perspective, I think it’s probably a good idea because it will now clarify to the rest of the nation what it is that the ANC is aiming at with the step aside rule and how it is supposed to work because they have been singing step aside for a very long time,” she said.
Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana SC, using Twitter handle: Simply Vido @vngalwana, advised users to read Magashule’s review application.
“Read Magashule’s review application to set aside his suspension and confirm Ramaphosa’s suspension. Seems compelling, but it’s Ramaphosa he’s challenging. That changes everything.
“Incidentally (and I knew it) the letter suspending SG came after the SG sent a letter to Ramaphosa.
“The Magashule review application will, in my view, be the litmus test for the South Africa’s judiciary.
“It is not in mainstream media interest (and their owners) to explore that angle.
“But, in my view, it is.
“The application is, on its own, compelling,” said Ngalwana in a Tweet.
Political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga said the NEC will have to wait for the court process.
“They have to follow the court process whether they like it or not, the NEC’s hands are tight, they can’t expel him, they need to be careful,” said Mathekga.
– Political Bureau