ANC members from the Free State, Mpumalanga and KZN rallied at Luthuli House in Joburg as the party’s secretary-general, who earlier this week said he knew that there was a warrant for his arrest, insisted he was “a law-abiding citizen”.
JOHANNESBURG – The battle of the arrest warrant for ANC secretary-general (SG) gained momentum on Thursday when hundreds of ANC members from the Free State, Mpumalanga and KZN descended on Luthuli House in Joburg.
On Tuesday night, Independent Media received a tip-off that there was a warrant of arrest headed for Magashule. After many attempts to obtain confirmation from the Hawks and Magashule, the SG responded to our enquiries.
He confirmed that he was aware of the imminent arrest.
“I’m aware, I’m aware. It’s going to be a Hollywood-style type of arrest.”
About 30 minutes after the story was published, the Hawks distanced themselves from any knowledge of the warrant. “We don’t know of the warrant or the arrest,” the Hawks said. Magashule quickly rebutted the Hawks saying: “They can’t spin it now. There is a warrant and they were coming for me.”
In an interview on Thursday, he stuck to his guns saying the warrant was still out there. “I know what they were planning. They wanted a Hollywood arrest with all the cameras to capture it.
“Now they are afraid to admit it. I’m still saying, it doesn’t need to be a Hollywood style. They must just tell me what I’ve done. I’m a law-abiding citizen. There was no need for Hollywood.”
It appeared that although Magashule was convinced there was a warrant, the “dossier” was with the Investigating Directorate (ID).
The ID is an investigative unit which reports directly to President Cyril Ramaphosa and investigates “high crimes”, which usually fall under corruption and money-laundering.
On Wednesday, about a 100 mainly young people camped outside Luthuli House calling on “the ANC president to not use state organs to fight political battles”.
The group was clearly from the Free State.
Magashule’s lawyer Victor Nkhwashu said that he has written to the Hawks and NPA to demand reasons for the warrant.
“I haven’t seen the warrant. The SABC and Independent Media wrote the same thing at the same time. It can’t be a coincidence. We are informed that there was a plan to arrest Mr Magashule but for what we don’t know.
“That is what I’m asking them to tell us,” Nkhwashu said.
Among the leaders of the protest march was Reagan Booysen, the provincial secretary of the ANC Youth League in the Free State.
Another prominent figure was Member of Parliament Thabo Mmutle.
Shortly after tweets of a warrant headed for Magashule were doing the rounds on Twitter, the youth league of the Free State was among the first ones to voice their support for Magashule.
Other than defending Magashule, the protesters also defended former president Jacob Zuma, an ally of the secretary-general.
“We want an NGC, it’s time to save our party,” the crowds shouted.
The National General Council (NGC) was halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic.