South Africa: Ace Trapped in a Vice of His Own Making

Ace Magashule (file photo).

The decisions of the ANC NEC, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, appear to mark a crucial defeat for the party's suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule.

The ANC's suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule may now be caught in a trap after the National Executive Committee (NEC) decided he must apologise for his actions of the last week. At the same time, his allies might be in further trouble after the decision by the NEC to investigate who is responsible for the leaks of its meeting over the past few days.

Magashule could now be in more danger than he was before this meeting, with his suspension merely an opening gambit. He can't blame others as the predicament he finds himself in appears to be the result of his own actions, bad strategy and avoidable mistakes.

Ramaphosa was calm, measured and appeared every inch presidential in his address on Monday. Reading from his iPad (from which a charging cable dangled off his desk and presumably went into a charger) he slowly went through the NEC statement. There was no sense of triumphalism -- he was careful not to appear to enjoy what must have been a great political moment.


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