The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) has removed suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule from it’s special virtual meeting.
Magashule vowed to attend the special meeting during an interview with SABC on Friday. He insists that his suspension is invalid and that he still holds the office of secretary-general.
Several news outlets are reporting that the corruption-accused politician was given the boot from the meeting. It is unclear at this stage what the removal from the meeting means. However, expulsion from the party has been said to be on the cards.
On the agenda for the special meeting is the party’s step aside resolution, the appeals process for implicated members, and of course, Magashule’s defiance to adhere to the policy.
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During Magashule’s suspension, he has been barred from:
- Carrying out the duties and responsibilities of his office as secretary-general,
- Representing the organisation publicly and or in any other form,
- Making public pronouncements on matters related to the organisation, and
- Engaging in the mobilisation of ANC structures, any other organisations or individuals, including on your stepping aside and matters related thereto.
As a result, he was not allowed to attend the meeting at all and his removal is in line with the suspension protocols.
Asked if he expects to be expelled from the ANC at the weekend’s NEC meeting, he told the SABC the NEC could not be a judge and jury.
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“There are processes which one will argue when I appear before the appeals body. The NEC has been conflicted in this matter. They have been the judge, prosecutor, investigator and jury.
Expulsion from the ANC
There is a real chance that Magashule could be expelled from the party following his actions this week.
After the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) said that it supports the NEC’s decision on the step aside resolution, Magashule was officially suspended from duty.
The organisation had decided that all members implicated in serious criminal offences need to step aside within 30 days or be suspended. Magashule was the first test for the resolution after repeatedly refusing to step aside.
Also this week, he penned a letter stating that he was in turn summarily suspending party leader Cyril Ramaphosa over allegations that his CR17 campaign fund received irregular contributions. Ramaphosa has not been charged in a court of law with any crimes.
This move has lead many commentators and analysts to believe that the NEC, and Ramaphosa as party head, have little choice but to eventually expel Magashule from the party.
The Citizen’s Brian Sokutu reports that political analysts expect the NEC to stamp its authority against its rogue elements within the party.
Independent political analyst, Dr Ralph Mathekga, said the NEC should “assert itself on its party resolution to suspend Ace Magashule – failure to do so will spell a disaster”.
“There is no more runway for more excuses on this one.
“The NEC has been pushed to a corner to do the right thing and we expect the ANC’s decision-making body to come out resolute,” said Mathekga.
Concurring with Mathekga, University of South Africa political science, professor Dirk Kotze, said: “While it may be difficult to predict the nature of discussions at the NEC meeting, what is clear is that the issue of stepping aside has been finalised, with no different decision expected to come out of the NEC.
“What may possibly become a matter for discussion is what action to be taken against Magashule for trying to suspend President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The response from most leaders in the ANC has ranged from perceiving that as a disgraceful conduct, some not taking it seriously.
“They have taken this as not being a valid step because he was himself suspended at the time.
“In terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC’s constitution says the secretary-general can suspend a public representative, but with the authority of the ANC – meaning he cannot do it on his own.
“Even if he was not suspended, he did not take such a decision on behalf of the NEC.
“No such NEC instruction was given to him, making his ‘suspending the president’ not being in line with the ANC constitution.”
This is a developing story. More to follow.
Additional reporting by Brian Sokutu, Neo Thale and News24 Wire.