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POLL | Will Ace Magashule apologise for his suspension letter to Ramaphosa?

12 May 2021 - 09:35 By unathi nkanjeni
Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Will he apologise?
Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Will he apologise?
Image: Alaister Russell/File

Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has been told to issue a public apology to the ruling party for the “letter of suspension” he wrote to the party's president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Last week, Magashule, amid a decision to temporarily suspend him for failing to step aside in line with the national executive committee (NEC) resolution, issued a letter announcing he was suspending Ramaphosa. This, he claimed, was in line with the party’s resolution on members accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices.

Magashule was suspended after his refusal to willingly step aside after corruption charges brought against him relating to a multimillion-rand Free State asbestos eradication tender awarded during his tenure as premier.

On Monday, Ramaphosa said the NEC instructed officials to advise Magashule to apologise publicly to ANC structures and members.

Ramaphosa said Magashule had no authority or mandate from any structure of the movement to “suspend” the president.

“The NEC agreed that such conduct was completely unacceptable and a flagrant violation of the rules, norms and values of the ANC,” he said

“The NEC instructed the officials to advise the secretary-general to apologise publicly to ANC structures and members within a set time frame. If he fails to do so, the ANC will institute disciplinary procedures in accordance with the ANC constitution.”

On Tuesday, the party's acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte said she hoped Magashule would apologise.

“We are confident the SG will rise to the occasion and follow the dictates of the ANC constitution,” Duarte said.

She reiterated that should Magashule fail to apologise within the time frame, he will face consequences.

“The NEC decision is that the secretary-general should apologise to the ANC community and also to South Africans,” said Duarte.

“First, this letter that suspends a sitting president in that manner that it was done could have had many repercussions and would have perhaps had repercussions. People had started calling from other countries to verify. So there is a need for a retraction of that statement made by the SG.”

She said the time frame for Magashule to apologise was not given by the NEC.

“The suggestion was to request the SG to do so [apologise] within 48 hours ... although in the NEC body there was no timeline given. I just want to be clear about that. We’re hoping that within this week we will see the SG doing so,” she added.