Embattled ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule says he will consult former ANC Presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki, former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and former Treasurer-General Mathews Phosa.
This follows a decision by the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) over the weekend that members and leaders charged with corruption and other serious crimes must step aside from their positions within 30 days or face suspension from the party.
‘An internal matter’
Magashule, who was speaking to reporters during a visit to Soweto on Wednesday, did not reveal what those consultations would entail.
“It’s an internal matter, so let’s leave it there. As a member of the ANC, I respect the decisions of the collective,” he said.
Magashule is facing corruption charges linked to a R255m asbestos audit tender awarded by the Free State provincial government during his term as Premier.
Asked whether he would indeed step aside or not, he only said, “Wait and see.” He also responded to EFF leader Julius Malema’s comments on Tuesday that the ANC’s “RET forces” are not welcome in the EFF.
“I am not going anywhere. I listened to Julius Malema. I am a member of the ANC. I will remain in the ANC until I die,” Magashule said.
‘Loyal to ANC’
He also maintained that he will remain loyal to the ANC and will not form or join another another political party. “I will never establish any new party. I will never go anywhere to join any party,” he emphasised.
“I am not those people who say my blood is black, green and gold and the next [thing] they form another party.”
The controversial leader also urged ANC members and leaders to abide by the NEC decision discouraging them from joining the “RET forces” (radical economic transformation forces) grouping.
MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus, who also works in Magashule’s office, has been a prominent member of this group, which has been accused of being “an organisation within an organisation.”
“RET forces” have made pro-Magashule and pro-Zuma pronouncements while criticising President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership.
Niehaus was among a handful of ANC members accompanying Magashule during his Soweto visit.