Suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has suffered yet another blow, as top officials in the ruling party want him to apologise for serving President Cyril Ramaphosa with a suspension letter, allegedly without any authority to do so.
The order was announced by Ramaphosa on Monday, when he spelt out the outcome of the party’s three-day special national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
Ramaphosa, who spoke on a virtual platform, said the ANC NEC – the highest decision making body of the party within conferences – has given Magashule a certain time frame within which to apologise and, if he fails to do so, the NEC would institute disciplinary charges against him.
The pending penalty against Magashule followed the shocking events of last week, a few days after the ANC decided to place him on suspension.
He was served with a suspension letter on May 3, signed off by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
In the letter, Duarte stipulated all the conditions which Magashule was supposed to adhere to, or face penalties.
Magashule was ordered not to carry out the duties and responsibilities of his office as secretary-general of the ANC.
Despite his conditional suspension, on May 5 Magashule wrote a suspension letter to Ramaphosa saying: “I have also, in accordance with the powers invested in me as the secretary of the ANC, and in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions, summarily suspended the president of the ANC, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa.
“This is done in terms of Resolution 8.2 of the 54th ANC national conference, which states that ‘every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices accounts to the ANC integrity committee immediately, or faces disciplinary processes.”
He also lifted his suspension, but was barred from the ANC NEC meeting on Saturday, when he tried to be part of it.
ANC NEC member Bongani Bongo also suffered the same fate.
Both are facing criminal charges of fraud and corruption in the Bloemfontein and Nelspruit Magistrate’s Courts, respectively.
As for Magashule, he has yet to give details on whether he would apologise to Ramaphosa for the “suspension letter”, which has since been rejected by the NEC.
The ANC, however, did not give details of the time frames.
Ramaphosa also confirmed that Magashule and Bongo remain suspended. Duarte will take over as ANC secretary-general.
Other provincial officials implicated in corruption, fraud, and other serious criminal offences, were also ordered to step aside from their executive positions, with immediate effect.