Ace Magashule will quit as Free State premier to focus on ANC job

12 January 2018 - 13:57 By Ranjeni Munusamy
Ace Magashule. File photo
Ace Magashule. File photo
Image: Supplied

The Free State province will have a new premier by April as Ace Magashule will vacate his position to move into Luthuli House as fulltime ANC secretary general. This will finally release the province of Magashule’s grip after almost three decades as provincial ANC leader.  

Gauteng local government MEC Paul Mashatile, who was elected as ANC treasurer general in December, will also resign from his government job by the end of the financial year. 

Both provinces will have to elect new ANC chairmen as Magashule and Mashatile cannot serve in national and provincial posts simultaneously.

Magashule has been Free State premier since 2009. His term of office in government has been marred by allegations of corruption. His election as ANC secretary general at the Nasrec conference was steeped in controversy after a narrow defeat over Senzo Mchunu and 68 alleged missing votes.

ANC deputy president David Mabuza will remain as Mpumalanga premier as his party post is not a full time position.

Addressing the media on preparations for the ANC’s 106th anniversary rally in East London on Saturday, Magashule said these decisions were taken at special national executive committee meeting on Wednesday.

Expectations were high that the NEC meeting would discuss the recall of President Jacob Zuma.

But Magashule said the meeting was ostensibly to discuss the contents of the January 8 statement to be presented by the new ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday.

Among the issues that Ramaphosa will elaborate on is land expropriation without compensation, which was adopted as a policy position at the ANC’s national conference.

Magashule also announced that the rally would be attended by President Jacob Zuma as an ex officio member of the NEC. Zuma no longer holds any position in the ANC but is allowed to attend party meetings by virtue of being the former president.

There is speculation that the issue of Zuma’s recall would be raised at another NEC meeting late next week, ahead of an ANC lekgotla at the weekend.