South Africa: Gone Guy - the Suspension of Ace Magashule Is Ramaphosa's Biggest Reform Win to Date

Ace Magashule (file photo).
opinion

Ace Magashule is the first ANC secretary-general to be suspended. President Cyril Ramaphosa won his biggest reform gambit yet when the party's deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, suspended Magashule from his role on Wednesday, May 5.

The two-page letter suspending ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is a historic one for the ANC and a big-ticket reform win for President Cyril Ramaphosa's anti-corruption efforts.

The party has not suspended a secretary-general before, and it marks a turning point in the president's stuttering efforts to curb corruption.

Ramaphosa has fought a long step-aside war since August 2020 when Magashule was first charged with 74 counts of corruption alongside 15 co-accused.

When he refused to step aside this week after getting a grace period of 30 days to consult party elders, he got the boot.

Magashule is suspended until his court case is over.

The secretary-general engaged in a loud political fightback, refusing to toe the line, and he filibustered on the step-aside rule for seven months.

But Ramaphosa's long game worked, and by the March National Executive Committee meeting, he had mustered enough support to defeat the pushback by at least 60 votes in the 84-person body of party leaders.

This is a significant...

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