South Africa’s ANC threatens to further discipline Magashule

The Secretary General of the African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule, speaks during an ANC Youth League rally on January 28, 2018 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. REUTERS / Rogan Ward / File Photo / File Photo

The ruling African National Congress in South Africa will continue to discipline top official Ace Magashule if he does not apologize for trying to take revenge on President Cyril Ramaphosa for his suspension, the president said Monday.

Magashule, one of Ramaphosa’s main ANC rivals, is currently suspended as the party’s general secretary on corruption charges. In a letter last week, Magashule sought revenge by suspending Ramaphosa, claiming he had authority to do so as general secretary. His attempt failed. Continue reading

The public spit has exposed a bitter power struggle in the party of liberation hero Nelson Mandela before a leadership contest is held next year in which Ramaphosa is expected to seek re-election. Continue reading

Magashule is the best-known politician charged with corruption since former President Jacob Zuma, who is awaiting trial over an arms deal.

Ramaphosa has built its reputation on cleaning up the ANC’s image and fighting corruption, but its opponents accuse it of using the crackdown to get it out of the way. Continue reading

Ramaphosa told the ANC’s national executive on Monday that Magashule had no mandate to suspend him. He said Magashule’s assistant Jessie Duarte would serve as general secretary, a powerful post responsible for the day-to-day work of the ANC, while Magashule was away from his post.

Magashule has yet to respond to the comments. A close adviser said he would not apologize because he believed what he did was legally correct. In an interview with the public broadcaster on Friday, Magashule called the corruption allegations against him flimsy and said he was being treated unfairly. Continue reading

Magashule has been suspended under stricter rules for ANC members charged with corruption and other serious crimes agreed by the party’s executive branch in late March.

Ramaphosa said Magashule must publicly apologize “within a set time frame” or face “disciplinary proceedings” under ANC rules. He did not say what additional punishment Magashule might face.

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