The African National Congress (ANC) says it is hoping that suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule will apologise this week for attempting to suspend president Cyril Ramaphosa.
This was revealed by the party’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte during her address to the media on Tuesday.
According to News24, the national executive committee (NEC) instructed Magashule to apologise to the ANC community and South Africans.
Duarte said Magashule’s letter of “suspension” to Ramaphosa had to be retracted, adding that she was optimistic the secretary-general would come to the table and do the right thing.
“Although in the NEC, there is no timeline given – and I just want to be clear about that… we are hoping that, within this week, we will see the SG doing it, hopefully. And we would encourage him to do so,” said Duarte.
Duarte said the secretary-general had no mandate to suspend Ramaphosa and he could face disciplinary charges if he refused to apologise as instructed, Daily Maverick reported.
She said the NEC chose to implement the party’s step-aside rules to defend the ANC rather than pursue any particular individual.
“We did implement the step-aside decision of the ANC and with great sadness, we had to agree to a temporary suspension, and I want to really emphasise this word, a ‘temporary’ suspension of the secretary-general of the ANC and the suspension will be reviewed from time-to-time but it is entirely dependent on the court case that the SG is facing,” the report quoted Duarte as saying.
Magashule last week wrote a letter to Ramaphosa in which he informed him of his decision to suspend him in relation to the CR17 sealed bank statements.
“I have also, in accordance with the powers invested in me as the secretary of the ANC, and in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions, summarily suspended the president of the ANC, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa.
“This is done in terms of Resolution 8.2 of the 54th ANC national conference, which states that ‘every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices accounts to the ANC integrity committee immediately, or faces disciplinary processes,” Magashule wrote in the letter.
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This was after the ANC suspended his membership until the finalisation of his court case.
Magashule was currently out on R200 000 bail and charged with corruption, fraud, and money laundering related to a Free State asbestos tender, dating back to his tenure as premier of the province.
In a letter dated May 3, Duarte informed Magashule that he was temporarily suspended.
The letter said that Magashule would be prohibited from making public pronouncements.
ANC NEC member and MP Bongani Bongo also received a suspension notice and Duarte said provinces had submitted the names of about 30 other individuals who were facing criminal charges and will be expected to step aside or face suspension.
“It was never only about the secretary-general. There are numbers of other people in other provinces, as well as another member of the ANC who has also been temporarily suspended. The unfortunate focus on one individual creates the impression that there was a focus on one individual,” said Duarte.
“We were simply asking them to step aside in the space that they were and not carry out the duties and responsibilities of their office, represent the organisation publicly or in any other forum, make public pronouncements on matters relating to the organisation, engage in mobilisation of ANC structures, any other organisations or individuals,” she said.