South Africa: Dealing With Ace - How the Last Shred of the ANC's Legitimacy Is About to Step Aside

Left: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Top-right: Ace Magashule. Bottom-right: Former president Jacob Zuma.

The likely decision to not even temporarily remove Ace Magashule from his leadership position will further weaken the ANC and badly damage what is left of its authority. This is not an understatement - it is possible that for many years the ANC could have a convicted criminal as its secretary-general.

This Monday morning the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that is expected to decide whether Ace Magashule will step aside as secretary-general is due to resume, after starting on Sunday evening. There are many dynamics that are swirling around this meeting, with legal opinions and WhatsApps flying about at a furious rate. While it is not possible to accurately make predictions at this stage, there are signs that the balance of power is shifting. Key to this may be the views of Deputy President David Mabuza and the ANC's Treasurer-General, Paul Mashatile. But the probable decision to not even temporarily remove Magashule will further weaken the party and what is left of its authority.

Whether Magashule will be forced to "step aside" is one of the fundamental questions facing the ANC. If he remains as secretary-general, and is able to go through a criminal trial while still occupying...

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