Johannesburg – Suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has hit back, claiming that he has suspended party president Cyril Ramaphosa and that he would appeal his “fatally flawed” suspension.
A defiant Magashule, who was this week suspended for failing to step aside, described his suspension from party activities as “fatally flawed”, while questioning his deputy’s authority to issue him with the letter.
As part of his suspension, Magashule has been barred from addressing public rallies or handling party-related matters while serving his suspension and facing criminal charges in a court of law.
He was served with a letter on Wednesday following a national working committee (NWC) meeting on Monday.
Magashule issued his statement in his capacity as the secretary general of the ANC through a Gmail account, said deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte had no authority to issue him with a suspension letter.
He also claimed he was using his powers as secretary general to “summarily” suspend Ramaphosa “in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions”.
“This is done in terms of Resolution 8.2 of the 54th National Conference, which states that, “… Every cadre accused of, or reported to be involved in, corrupt practices accounts to the Integrity Committee immediately, or faces DC processes….,and Resolution 8.3 that further provides for the suspension of, “… people who fail to give an acceptable explanation, or to voluntarily step down while they face disciplinary, investigative or prosecutorial procedures”.
“I call on all members of the ANC to act with revolutionary dignity and respect, and to uphold the ANC Constitution. None of us should bow to illegal and unconstitutional actions. In doing so we must protect the unity of the ANC as leader of society,” said Magashule.
In challenging his suspension letter, which was signed by Duarte, he said: “It is evident that the deputy secretary general does not have the authority to issue such letters. Thus the letter is fatally flawed, and in fact unconstitutional.
“Furthermore these letters are based on a selective and factional interpretation of the relevant resolution.
“I herewith announce that I am immediately, and formally, appealing this unconstitutional suspension. In terms of the ANC Constitution, my suspension is thus wholly suspended, until my appeal has been heard, and it’s final outcome announced.
“For the sake of fairness and justice to all the affected comrades, who have received similarly unconstitutional letters, I as Secretary General – who is duty bound to uphold the ANC Constitution and all administrative processes – urge them to also follow the appropriate internal appeal processes,” Magashule claimed.
Other party members who have been suspended include former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, who is understood to be a close ally of Magashule. ANC KZN deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu has also stepped aside.
Meanwhile, Duarte refused to comment when contacted by IOL on Wednesday night, diverting queries to ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe.
In a statement, Mabe said the “ANC notes the letter written by the Secretary General Comrade Ace Magashule to the President of the ANC Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The decisions of the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee stand.
“The NEC will be meeting over the weekend and will accordingly respond to the Secretary General.
“The ANC requests that the Secretary General respect the decisions of the NEC and subject himself to the discipline of the organization”, said Mabe. IOL