A meeting of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) on Thursday night saw a fiery debate over whether it should march in support of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
A virtual meeting of its national working committee met to discuss the drama rocking the ANC in which suspended party secretary-general Ace Magashule seeks to suspend President Cyril Ramaphosa.
A source with knowledge of the meeting told News24 that ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini noted in her opening address the women of the ANC could not sit back while party leaders were fighting.
“She was saying that as women we have to act when the kids are fighting,” the source said.
It was proposed to the meeting that the league either met with the ANC leadership on the matter or march to the party’s national executive committee (NEC) sitting this weekend.
Magashule has defied his suspension from the party which was imposed following his resistance to stepping aside from his position pending the outcome of his criminal trial.
The charge against Dlamini was led by Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana who was said to have argued the decision of the ANC NEC was binding on the league and it could not support Magashule’s defiance.
Kekana argued the ANCWL had to “look at the picture” and the women of the ANC could not repeat the mistakes of supporting former president Jacob Zuma blindly in his rape trial.
The source noted: Pinky said that the real victims of corruption are women and they bear the brunt of it.
Another league leader from Limpopo was said to have supported this charge, resisting any suggestion to side with Magashule on the matter.
A second source noted the meeting heard the ANCWL could not be on the wrong side of history in the fight against corruption.
Magashule’s defiance of his suspension is expected to dominate discussions at the ANC NEC meeting over the weekend.
In the letter, which was dated 3 May, Magashule said he was informing Ramaphosa of his suspension, following a decision of the ANC’s national working committee (NWC).
“You have been reported to the Serious Offences Directorate and the matter of sealed documents relating to your CR17 campaign prior and during the national conference is pending before our courts,” he wrote.
In a statement, Magashule said his suspension from the ANC was unconstitutional and he announced he would appeal.
“I have also, in accordance with the powers vested in me as the secretary-general of the ANC, and furthermore, in full compliance with the relevant conference resolutions summarily, suspended the president of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa [sic],” he added in the statement.
Ramaphosa is said to have told the ANC parliamentary caucus on Thursday he was “dismayed” by the letter and it was “null and void”.
Attempts to get comment from the ANCWL were unsuccessful. Its comment will be added once received.