Magashule apology not likely soon, says Carl Niehaus, 'because there will be legal action' over suspension

13 May 2021 - 18:19 By kgothatso madisa
Carl Niehaus said on Thursday that suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule would not be apologising any time soon for 'suspending' President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Carl Niehaus said on Thursday that suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule would not be apologising any time soon for 'suspending' President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

It appears that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's anticipated apology in the party's suspension and counter-suspension saga will not be coming any time soon.

This after MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus confirmed that there would be “legal action” over the ANC's decision to suspend Magashule.

The ANC demanded a public apology from Magashule over a letter he wrote after his own suspension, in which he “suspended” party president Cyril Ramaphosa.

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But ANC member Carl Niehaus — also a senior staff member in Magashule's office at ANC headquarters Luthuli House and a staunch Magashule supporter — confirmed on Thursday that the suspended secretary-general would be joining several ANC national executive committee members in their planned court bid to challenge his suspension and the implementation of the step-aside resolution.

“I’ve said what I can say [on SAfm radio], that there will be legal action and it will happen as soon as possible,” Niehaus told TimesLIVE. “I’ve said that there will be legal action, that they will take legal action in due course as soon as possible. That is what I said — I can’t say more.”

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Tuesday announced that the party's leaders had given Magashule 48 hours to apologise over his unsanctioned letter of suspension against Ramaphosa, or face disciplinary action.

But despite this, Niehaus said on Thursday as the clock was ticking for Magashule that he would not be apologising any time soon due the imminent court action against his suspension.

“I think the legal process must now proceed and that will determine the outcome of all these issues, including this demand for an apology,” Niehaus said.

Magashule could not be reached for comment.

His aide, Chris Ackeer, told TimesLIVE that he was in a staff meeting and would be able to speak only later. He declined to immediately comment on Niehaus’s remarks.

Magashule stunned many last week when he issued a public letter announcing his suspension of Ramaphosa in retaliation for his own suspension.

Duarte on Tuesday said she was confident Magashule would comply with the party's demand of an apology for his stunt.

The ANC announced on Monday that its highest decision-making body between national conferences, the national executive committee (NEC), had decided Magashule should apologise publicly for his role in the matter and that disciplinary proceedings be instituted against him should he refuse to do so.

Duarte said the NEC had found that Magashule's letter suspending Ramaphosa had not been at the behest of any ANC structure.

This developing story will be updated with comment from Magashule and his aide as soon as it is obtained.

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