Johannesburg – Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s assertion that he has powers to suspend President Cyril Ramaphosa will come under close scrutiny at the party’s watershed national executive committee this weekend.
Magashule made the claim on Wednesday saying his alleged suspension of Ramaphosa was in terms of resolution 8.2 of the 54th national conference, which states that “… every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in corrupt practices accounts to the Integrity Committee immediately, or faces DC (disciplinary committee) processes”.
The NEC is also due to finalise its lists of people to be placed on suspension, following an alleged increasing number of people who are defying the party.
Limpopo ANC treasurer Danny Msiza – implicated in the VBS scandal – is among those fingered. Some are in KwaZulu-Natal but their provincial deputy chairperson, Mike Mabuyakhulu, voluntarily stepped aside last month.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed that the total number of people to be suspended will be announced after the NEC.
“We will be receiving reports at the NEC meeting and will make announcements on the total number of impacted people after the meeting,” Mabe said.
But insiders say that Magashule has missed the plot on his suspension letter, saying no individual party members, including Ramaphosa, have powers to suspend a member.
Magashule is not expected to be part of the three-day meeting which begins today, due to the restrictions in his suspension letter.
However, insiders say his letter is likely to dominate the meeting.
It is expected that some of his supporters, such as Dakota Legoete and Tony Yengeni, are likely to come to his defence to prevent him from being fired.
“In the ANC, no individual has powers to suspend a member. It is only a structure that has powers to execute a suspension. In his (Magashule’s) case, it was the ANC national working committee which issued instructions for his suspension and others who are facing criminal charges in courts.
“Even the president does not have powers to suspend a member,” one of the senior ANC leaders said.
Adding to Magashule’s woes, ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe was quoted in one of the national newspapers saying that Magashule wrote the suspension letter out of anger – a view apparently shared by many in the NEC who support Ramaphosa..
Legoete conceded Ramaphosa’s growing support base in March during the last NEC meeting and accused them of allegedly trying to use that majority to implement the step-aside resolution.
Yesterday, Limpopo ANC secretary Soviet Lekganyane confirmed that they submitted the names of eight people to their national officials for suspension, but so far only one – a Waterberg region councillor – has agreed to step aside.
“We do not want to design our list around certain individuals. It will look like a purge. We have written to all of them but only one agreed to step aside. We will conclude our list by the end of business on Friday,” Lekganyane said.
ANC North West Interim provincial committee secretary Hlomane Chauke was not available to clarify the status of controversial JB Marks mayor Kgotso Khumalo.
Meanwhile, DA leader John Steenhuisen has warned South Africans that their infighting within the ANC will have a negative effect on the economy and would be of no benefit to the citizens.
Steenhuisen asked: “Will we sit back and allow the civil war inside the ANC to drag us into a constitutional crisis from which our democracy may never recover, or will we seize the moment to finally break free from ANC rule to save our country?
“The DA unequivocally chooses the latter.
“The farcical merry-go-round of suspensions and counter-suspensions by the supposed leaders of the ANC confirms that we can either have continued ANC domination, or we can have a prosperous future for our country. But we cannot have both,” Steenhuisen said.