Defiant Magashule says he will attend this weekend's ANC NEC meeting
Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule remains defiant, saying he remains in his position and will attend this weekend's crucial national executive committee meeting.
In an interview with the SABC on Friday evening, Magashule slammed the NEC as being dominated by a faction led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
He said the ANC had lost its character, to the point that at NEC meetings its members now ask for a vote to settle debates — a practice he says is foreign to the party.
Magashule was suspended this week after he failed to step aside at the end of the 30-day period stipulated by the party. He had been consulting with former ANC leaders Mathews Phosa, former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, and former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki.
After his suspension, Magashule hit back by writing a letter of suspension against Ramaphosa, a move that has angered the president's supporters.
Ramaphosa is said to have told the ANC caucus in parliament on Thursday that he was taken aback by the letter.
This week's actions have built up tensions which are expected to show at Saturday's meeting which Magashule vows he will attend.
The meeting is expected to deal with, among other matters, the step-aside rule of the ANC and will also discuss the Magashule issue.
In the interview, Magashule accused the ANC NEC altering the resolutions of the Nasrec conference to focus only on members who are charged for corruption but ignored those facing serious allegations.
“I will never allow any individual to take the ANC from me, even though it's a voluntary organisation. We joined it together. I am awaiting for whatever processes to unfold because I have appealed. And if needs be, I am saying to the branches of the ANC throughout the country, relax I am secretary-general of the ANC,” said Magashule.
LISTEN | What now for Ace Magashule?
Magashule said branches of the ANC should remain resolute and not leave the party.
“How does the NEC, which becomes a judge, a jury, a prosecutor, an investigator, the national executive committee, just expel me? Are there legal processes? Should I watch and see and say, 'Thank you, I am disciplined comrades. Bye, bye'?” said Magashule when asked if he feared that he would be expelled from the ANC this weekend.
He said the party cannot ban him from making public addresses. In the suspension letter, the party had banned him from addressing public platforms about his suspension.
Magashule questioned why the party was not discussing the CR17 fundraising matter, a topic he said Tony Yengeni had been raising in most meetings of the party.
He also questioned the speed at which the Hawks were investigating allegations of corruption levelled against Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane by businessman Lonwabo Bam.