The Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday is expected to hear suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s application for leave to appeal.
Magashule filed papers at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein in a bid to overturn his suspension from the ANC. He also wants the court to uphold his attempt to suspend Cyril Ramaphosa as party president.
In July, the full bench of the Johannesburg High Court dismissed Magashule’s application to overturn his suspension from the ANC.
The application was dismissed with costs, with the court finding that his suspension was consistent with the ANC’s and the country’s constitution.
The embattled secretary-general was suspended in May in line with the ANC’s rule 25.70, which requires all party members criminally charged to temporarily step aside pending the conclusion of their cases.
Magashule faces fraud and corruption charges in the Free State in connection with a R255 million asbestos project while he was the province’s premier.
Magashule believes the SCA will come to a different conclusion on his appeal application and is arguing that the ANC’s step-aside rule is unconstitutional and flouts the principle that an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
Attempt to suspend Ramaphosa
The Johannesburg High Court had also dismissed Magashule’s suspension of Ramaphosa. He wrote a letter, dated 3 May 2021, ordering Ramaphosa to step down as president of the ANC over allegations of vote buying during his CR17 ANC presidential campaign in 2017.
But the high court found that the grounds on which Magashule relied to suspend Ramaphosa were not aligned to the requirements of Rule 25.70.
The appeal application will be heard virtually.