Suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule has served papers at the Johannesburg high court indicating his intention to challenge his suspension and the party’s step-aside rule.
His application, which cites ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte and the ANC as respondents, was filed on Thursday, 13 May 2021 by Mabuza Attorneys.
Step-aside rule ‘unconstitutional’
Magashule has asked the court to declare:
- The ANC step-aside rule or regime and/or Rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution to be unlawful, unconstitutional, invalid and null and/or void ab initio.
- The suspension letter issued by [Duarte] on 5 May (but dated 3 May) 2021 to be unlawful, unconstitutional, invalid and null and/or void ab initio.
- The suspension of [Ramaphosa] to be valid and effective until lawfully nullified.
- The instruction announced by [Ramaphosa, Duarte and/or ANC] for the applicant to apologise for issuing the suspension letter to [Ramaphosa] to be unlawful and unenforceable.
He also wants the court to set aside or uplift his suspension as ANC Secretary-General “or any other position or status he held or enjoyed in the ANC as at 5 May 2021.”
Key quotes from Ace Magashule’s court application
Below are some notable quotes from Magashule’s affidavit which accompanied his application.
ANC leadership ‘has failed to reconcile factions’
“To date, it has been widely accepted that unfortunately the leadership of the ANC (including me) has dismally failed to reconcile the two main factions [CR17 and NDZ], with potentially dire consequences for the ANC. All indications are that the divisions have crystallised more deeply since the [2017 ANC national] conference.
“The divisions between the rival factions were also defined by deep-seated ideological divisions about the political direction the ANC needs to take in order to resolve one of the most pressing problems facing present-day South Africa.
“Simplistically put, the CR17 ticket favours a reformist and tentative approach to transformation, with too much emphasis on pacifying investors, rating agencies and local big business, which remains white-dominated.
“On the other hand, the other grouping believes that a much more fast-paced and radical economic transformation programme, which is more focused on the needs of the poorest and most marginalised section of the population and not the richest of them.
“Save for a few opportunistic individuals who were the leading lights of the NDZ faction but who turned to the CR17 faction in the realistic hope of securing ministerial positions, the factions have remained intact and operate on the basis of mutual distrust and suspicion of each other.”
‘Factionalism is behind my suspension’
“I give all these details in order to support my fervent and steadfast belief that factionalism, and not the face of some newfound anti-corruption cleanup, is what lies behind my unlawful, radical and premature suspension.
“The real motive behind my being purged is the desire to remove me, by hook or by crook, from the all-powerful position of SG, so that the road to the re-election of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his faction in the next National Conference is made easier.
“I may add that the fears that I may interfere in the democratic process are a misplaced sign of unnecessary panic.”
Step-aside rule will ‘spell end of ANC’
“I need to put it plainly that there is no other single conduct which is calculated to sow divisions and possible collapse of the ANC than the current unfair, selective and factional ‘implementation’ or the step-aside regime.
“Accordingly, while no sane person can oppose the spirit of the original step-aside regime as resolved by the National Conference, the current and unlawfully and factionally reconfigured version thereof must be resisted and declared unlawful if the ANC is to survive. Failure to do so will spell the end of the organisation.”
ANC NEC ‘fundamentally altered NASREC resolution’
“What the NEC did was to fundamentally alter and amend the NASREC resolution and to narrow it beyond recognition in order to apply it selectively and to achieve factional goals rather than its intended purpose.”
‘Corrupt elements in CR17 faction are shielded’
“The false and contrived anti-corruption crusade is being used as a ruse to purge those who are unwanted due to ideological or factional differences.
“Some of the most allegedly corruption elements in the ANC, who happen to be in the dominant faction, are actively shielded from the necessary scrutiny and ambit of the original resolution and falsely portrayed as fighters of corruption.
“If this accusation is denied, I will provide further details of ANC leaders who are in the dominant faction, including the likes of Mr Gwede Mantashe and Zizi Kodwa, who have been implicated in serious allegations of corruption but remain seemingly immune to prosecution and/or the reach of the revised step-aside rule.”
Step-aside rule ‘mortgaged to NPA’
“By amending the resolution(s) to be limited to those who have been formally charged, the application of the step-aside rule has been mortgaged to the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority), which is not a structure of the ANC.
“Any faction which manages to capture the leadership of the NPA will therefore never be subjected to the ‘new’ resolution.”
*To read/download a PDF copy of the 128-page step-aside court application by Ace Magashule, click here.