South Africa: Ace Magashule, the ANC's Smallanyana Skeleton-General

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule.

He is the man the modern ANC is designed to nurture and protect. Until he is thrown in prison - and, perhaps, after he leaves - Ace is as ANC as a Madiba-branded coffee mug.

First published in Daily Maverick 168

Have we exhausted the snappy "Ace" wordplay headlines yet? Probably not. After all, ANC Secretary-General Elias Sekgobelo "Ace" Magashule is the editorial gift that keeps on giving, a fount of corruption and graft that fills up column inches like no other South African politician since Jacob Zuma. He's simultaneously clickbait and jailbait, which makes the man an irresistible draw in a country desperate to see someone -- but especially Ace Magashule -- do a perp walk.

This week, we were delivered a nifty (if widely telegraphed) plot twist. The former warlord of the Free State has now butted up against the rarest of unicorns: an arrest warrant issued to a member of the ANC's Upper Management. Ace stands accused of dipping generously into a R255-million Free State contract for an asbestos audit, a classic example of bargain-basement tender fraud, the benefit of which accrued to several sleazy business associates who, among other first-class consumer items, purchased virtually every luxury...

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