ANC not worried about Magashule… Does he have an Ace up his sleeve?

Burning of party T-shirts fuels claims Magashule is set to join the EFF.


The governing party says it is not worried about losing support after some ANC members and supporters of its former secretary-general, Ace Magashule, burnt party T-shirts. On Youth Day, people purporting to be ANC members in the Fezile Dabi region in Parys, Free State, burnt ANC T-shirts in what is believed to be a retaliation against Magashule’s expulsion. The Free State has been a Magashule stronghold. The ANC announced on Monday last week that Magashule had been officially expelled from the party. He had failed to respond to the party’s national disciplinary committee on why he shouldn’t be expelled. This…

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The governing party says it is not worried about losing support after some ANC members and supporters of its former secretary-general, Ace Magashule, burnt party T-shirts.

On Youth Day, people purporting to be ANC members in the Fezile Dabi region in Parys, Free State, burnt ANC T-shirts in what is believed to be a retaliation against Magashule’s expulsion.

The Free State has been a Magashule stronghold.

The ANC announced on Monday last week that Magashule had been officially expelled from the party. He had failed to respond to the party’s national disciplinary committee on why he shouldn’t be expelled.

This after he was found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute following his attempt to suspend ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa in May 2021.

This fuelled claims that Magashule will join the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) or start a political party, rather than appeal his expulsion from the ANC.

He has not dismissed either claim.

EFF leader Julius Malema announced last Friday that he was talking to Magashule about joining the party.

I’m talking to him. We’re at an advanced stage of the discussions,” he said. “Electoral politics are politics of numbers. It’s very important that you talk to everyone.”

Malema said the party would make an announcement on Magashule when it’s done with its talks.

He said the EFF was having similar talks with other senior ANC leaders, but did not reveal any names.

Magashule was expected to announce his next political move in a press briefing this week.

ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said they had no concerns about the implied loss of support as a result of Magashule’s expulsion.

“The ANC is confident of its efforts in rebuilding our structures in the Free State. This is being excellently executed by the ANC provincial leadership and all our regions,” she said.

“The loss of support is highly unlikely as ANC members in the Free State are focused on organisational stability and ensuring that the ANC secures victory in the 2024 general election.”

Fezile Dabi regional spokesperson Sello Pietersen told The Citizen that the burning of T-shirts was staged by people who were mostly not ANC members.

“This was created by a few who wanted to create an impression that there was a crisis where in fact there is none,” he said.

Pietersen, however, admitted some of those who were seen burning the T-shirts were indeed ANC members.

“It was just a small group of people burning T-shirts, that’s a reflection that the majority of our people are not interested in following individuals.

“The internal disciplinary action will kick-start immediately so that we are able to understand what the issues are.

“The ANC is not a kangaroo organisation. There are processes outlined in the constitution of the ANC with regard to disciplinary processes. We view this particular scenario in a very serious light,” he said.

Pietersen refuted claims that Magashule had strong supporters in Fezile Dabi and the Free State.

“Mr Magashule was the leader of the ANC in that area, there has never been individual support for anyone, including himself,” he said.

On rumours Magashule might join the EFF, Pietersen said the ruling party would always be concerned about any member who did not see it as their home.

He said the region was happy with the process to expel Magashule.

“I’m certain that all of us in the region are quite happy and comfortable with the process because it was about ensuring that the ANC becomes a much more united organisation able to serve our people,” he said.

“At the end of the day, no one is bigger than the ANC.”

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