ANC plans to fight factionalism to focus on Ace Magashule’s legal battle
Johannesburg – The ANC has put aside plans to hold a retreat to deal with factional battles within his party to allow his senior leaders to focus on the legal battle waged against him by his suspended Secretary General Ace Magashule.
Magashule filed court documents in the South Gauteng High Court last week challenging his suspension from the party after being charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering in Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court in November of l ‘last year.
The decision to suspend Magashule came after senior leaders agreed that all those facing criminal charges should step down, but the decision left Magashule and others wronged.
As the party planned to hold a retreat to deal with the factions, Magashule handed them court papers challenging his suspension on May 13.
The court papers were served as the ANC was due to announce the retirement date after concerns were expressed at its national executive committee meeting that the party was plagued by deep divisions that could cause it to collapse the 108-year-old liberation movement – Africa’s oldest movement.
These concerns were raised by Limpopo Prime Minister and NEC member Stan Mathabatha over the alleged existence of three factions within the ANC – one of them apparently thrives on abusing its relationship. using the name of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mathabatha’s comments were captured in audio clippings released to the media as the party battled internal factional fighting.
While the nation was only aware of the CR-17 faction linked to the Ramaphosa and Magashule faction, previously known as the NDZ faction, Mathabatha informed the NEC meeting of the existence of a third faction with ulterior motives. . According to Mathabatha, the third faction was sowing divisions within party structures and allegedly misused Ramaphosa’s name by allegedly making party statements without Ramaphosa’s knowledge.
“We have a good president, but some of our members abuse his name,” said Mathabatha. His comments caught the attention of former ANC chairman Thabo Mbeki, who urged his fellow NEC members to take the prime minister’s comments to heart. Mbeki also urged members of his party to consider whether the ANC was on the verge of collapse due to its factional battles.
After the meeting, Ramaphosa announced on May 10 that his party had accepted a retreat to build unity within it.
“In a spirit of criticism and self-criticism, we reflected on our way of working and our conduct as members of the NEC. We have agreed to adhere to organizational protocols and practices, including collective leadership, promotion of unity and renewal, and strict adherence to the ANC communications protocol.
“We have agreed to hold a retreat as soon as conditions permit to address the different perspectives among the leaders and develop a practical plan of action to strengthen the process of unity and renewal,” said Ramaphosa.
He said NEC members had expressed concern over a concerted and resourced campaign to sow division and confusion within the ANC, with the ultimate goal of destroying the movement as an instrument of gradual transformation and change.
“He noted that this campaign is actively aided by a few individuals within the NEC, through leaks, deviant public statements, protests and misinformation on social media. “The NEC has agreed to take urgent action to investigate the NEC leaks and any organized campaign to reverse the movement and take appropriate action,” Ramaphosa said.
Insiders told Independent Media that the retirement has been suspended to allow the party to deal with opponents of the withdrawal rule. “It is expected that more people will challenge the side step in courts like Comrade Ace Magashule,” one of the sources said.
ANC Acting Secretary General Jessie Duarte confirmed the decision, but said her party had yet to make a decision on the date.
The ANC was due to file response documents to Magashule’s demand for justice in the South Gauteng High Court yesterday.