“I’m not going anywhere,” says the suspended official at the South African ANC

Ace Magashule, the suspended Secretary General of the ruling African National Congress in South Africa. REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

The general secretary of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, who was suspended by the party on corruption charges, told the state broadcaster on Friday: “I’m not going anywhere” and said he was being treated unfairly.

The ANC this week suspended Ace Magashule in accordance with stricter rules for members charged with corruption and other serious crimes who have been asked to “step aside”, vacate their positions or face suspension within 30 days . Continue reading

Magashule is one of the top six ANC officials and heads the day-to-day affairs of the party that has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid.

He is a major rival of President Cyril Ramaphosa as he seeks authority over the divided party ahead of a leadership contest next year.

Magashule was charged with corruption in a contract to inspect houses with asbestos roofs when he was Prime Minister of the Free State Province. He has denied wrongdoing, described the charges as flimsy and fabricated them in an interview with SABC.

“The ANC is acting unfairly … I have not committed a crime,” Magashule told the state broadcaster, reiterating his determination to stay on the job.

Magashule said a resolution by the ANC’s national executive in late March regarding members charged with corruption or other serious crimes was designed to remove him. He was suspended after failing to step aside within 30 days. Continue reading

The “step aside” rule will test Ramaphosa’s control of the ANC and his commitment to fighting corruption. The rule is on the agenda of a three-day virtual meeting of the national executive that begins on Saturday. Magashule said he would attend. Continue reading

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