South Africa: An Outwitted Magashule Won't Go Without a Bang, 'Suspends' Ramaphosa in ANC Staring Match

Ace Magashule (file photo).
analysis

The ANC sent Secretary-General Ace Magashule a suspension notice on Monday. On the same day, Magashule informed President Cyril Ramaphosa that he would also be suspended from the party. Magashule is on the ropes and desperate.

There was a lot of speculation on Wednesday evening about whether a leaked letter from ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule to President Cyril Ramaphosa was real.

Magashule is facing criminal charges regarding a R255-million Free State asbestos tender, one of the many questionable deals under his premiership in the province, and is a prime candidate for the ANC's step-aside rule, which essentially says that any member facing criminal charges should vacate their positions while their cases continue.

In a leaked letter, ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte on 3 May 2021 told Magashule he would be temporarily suspended from his position, pending his criminal case. At the end of March 2021, the ANC's National Executive Committee gave Magashule 30 days to step down or face suspension.

The party was true to its word.

It appeared Magashule was outplayed by his rivals in Ramaphosa's camp, but the secretary-general, who was used to getting his own way in Free State, fought back.

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