Magashule wasn’t being racist with ‘umlungu’ comment, ANC insists

The ANC’s top six had not yet met regarding the matter, but 'this could also be futile because they did not agree and would not be unanimous.'

The ANC may “symbolically” reprimand party secretary-general Ace Magashule for his supposedly racist comment advising against voting for whites, but action could be taken as the party’s top six were usually not in consensus, a political analyst says.

ANC veterans called on the party and leader Cyril Ramaphosa to take action after the controversial secretary-general’s “racist” statement at the weekend in Philippi in the Western Cape.

He told voters not to vote for “umlungu” come May 8.

The ANC defended Magashule’s comment yesterday. Acting ANC national spokesperson Dakota Legoete told The Citizen it was not a racist comment as Magashule was only denouncing parties that “protected and defended” the interests of the minority.

“According to the explanation we received, it is not a racist statement.

“We are a nonracial organisation that would not want racial inequity to thrive.

“We have always believed it is wrong for any human being to be categorised according to race or belief,” Legoete said.

He said the ANC’s top six had not yet met regarding the matter.

But it might be futile as the top six did not agree, political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said. “I don’t expect there will be unanimity even on that, because there are still those who supported former president Jacob Zuma and that was the common language then, which is in conflict with ANC’s efforts to revive its support within the minorities.”

Magashule “may be symbolically reprimanded or the party may reprimand him by restating ANC policy on these matters,” he added.

“This statement is not good for the ANC, but the party is beginning to separate individuals with sullied reputations from the new leadership, which is struggling to revive the ANC.”

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