South Africa: Ace Magashule - What Now? an Internal Party Appeal or Straight to Court

analysis

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is likely to either appeal his suspension or take the entire process to court, say party officials.

In a midnight drama, Magashule wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying he was suspending him - something no individual leader in the ANC can do.

But that move has overshadowed his suspension and provided insight into his current strategy. Magashule is likely to appeal his suspension to Mathews Phosa, the lawyer and former treasurer and Mpumalanga premier who will hear appeals from any of the estimated 30 party representatives who must now step aside.

If he does not appeal, Magashule will use his powerful bank of lawyers to go straight to court to argue that his right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is violated by the step-aside rule. If he goes to court or appeals, a legal argument will ensue over whether either action places into abeyance the operation of his suspension.

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Magashule has said he is still secretary-general in office and suspended Ramaphosa because he has the power to do so. But the ANC constitution says only the party's national executive committee (NEC) or national working committee (NWC) can suspend an...

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