Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist


ANC ‘step-aside’ rule: Final nail in Zuma camp’s coffin?

It will be a brave person – especially one now specifically excluded from the perks of being a member in good standing of the ANC – to side with Jacob Zuma and Magashule.


On the face of it, the decision by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) to allow its secretary-general, Ace Magashule, a further 30 days to comply with a decision that he step aside because of serious pending charges against him, seems like another instance of kicking the political can down the road.

Yet, that leeway might not necessarily be the lifeline for Magashule as journalists and newspapers sympathetic to him are portraying it. It may, in reality, be the opposite: the ANC NEC may be giving him enough rope to hang himself, politically.

ALSO READ: What next for Ace Magashule?

That’s because, while the focus is on Magashule, the real dynamite in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s NEC statement on Monday night, was how he openly read the riot act, on behalf of the ANC, to the entire radical economic transformation (RET) faction within the party … even going as far as naming it.

He effectively made RET followers within the ANC outlaws by banning anyone from being a member or associating with RET members – on the pain of losing their own membership in the organisation.

He went further – to prohibit anyone from using ANC premises or resources to promote the aims of the RET group.

Although Ramaphosa did not say so specifically, there has clearly been concern that this is exactly what Magashule has been doing – not only to push the RET agenda, but to fight for his own political life.

The NEC decision – and it was a collective one – on Magashule and RET was a reminder that the organisation still has considerable clout and power over its members. It will be a brave person – especially one now specifically excluded from the perks of being a member in good standing of the ANC – to side with Jacob Zuma and Magashule.

It is cold outside the ANC – this has been proved time and again.

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