Thursday, 06 May 2021

Johannesburg: The African National Congress’s (ANC’s) SG; Ace Magashule has been served with a suspension letter.

The embattled ANC secretary general received communication signed off by his deputy; Jessie Duarte informing him of his suspension. This comes after the National Working Committee of the ANC met on Monday; the 03 May and agreed to implement the step aside resolution.

At its conclusion, the NWC directed the Secretary General’s office to begin a process of notifying members who have not voluntarily stepped aside of their status in the organisation in accordance with Rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution.

The party’s 2017 step-aside resolution states that those facing corruption or serious criminal charges should step aside or face suspension. The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) resolved on this matter last month, with members affected granted 30 days to step aside.

Magashule has since refused to do so and has remained defiant that only branches of the ANC can remove him as an elected official in 2017.

Magashule has also denied the charges on the suspension letter and has said that the suspension could not be enforced until his appeal has been heard.

In response to the letter of suspension sent by Magashule on the suspension of the ANC’s President; Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC said that the decisions of the national executive committee [NEC] and national working committee [NWC] stand.

“The NEC will be meeting over the weekend and will accordingly respond to the secretary-general. The ANC requests that the secretary-general respect the decisions of the NEC and subject himself to the discipline of the organidation.” read the statement.

Magashule is out on bail and will appear again in the Free State High Court; in Bloemfontein, for pre-trial hearing on the 11 August 2021.

Magashule has been charged with  21 counts of fraud, corruption and money laundering. The charges relate to the alleged irregular awarding of the more than R250 million Free State Asbestos roofing audit contract.