South Africa: The Ace Moves - From Convoluted Chess Game to Hints of Internal Coup


The ANC's Ace problem entered a phase of prolonged 'conclusion' this week. It is now an endgame. Yet, as the immediate fallout of the week's actions showed, the inconclusive Nasrec leadership victories and Ace Magashule's secretary-generalship will live to haunt the ANC at least into its next elective conference.

The game entered a destined-to-be, convoluted final stretch when the NEC-NWC nexus of uber ANC power suspended Secretary-General (SG) Ace Magashule. It was a complicated point of no return, followed immediately by Magashule's expected game of trying to regain his slipping power, and complicating his suspension.

Magashule has depicted himself in social media posts as executing moves in a chess game. Some of his moves are delusional fantasies in which he pretends his pawns have the power of bishops and rooks.

This includes his attempted suspension of Cyril Ramaphosa from the presidency of the ANC. Others, like his inevitable appeal against the suspension, the likely activation of court action and attempts to prolong his stay in the Luthuli House secretary-general suite are likely to haunt the ANC in king and queen style throughout the 19-month run-up to its next elective conference.

Magashule asserts that he cannot...

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