Neo Thale
Night digital supervisor
2 minute read
17 May 2021
9:00 pm

Hanekom pours cold water on Ace’s ‘popularity’

Neo Thale

Earlier on Monday, the ANC said they would oppose Ace Magashule's court application to have his suspension lifted.

Derek Hanekom. Picture: Gallo Images/Sunday Times/Elizabeth Sejake

ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Derek Hanekom believes suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule has overestimated his popularity in the Free State.

Hanekom, a former minister of tourism and current member of the party’s national working committee (NWC), was responding to a tweet about Magashule’s plan to rally the province for former president Jacob Zuma ahead of his trial next week.

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Magashule is the former premier of the Free State and on Monday after Zuma’s trial was postponed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to 26 May, Magashule said he would mobilise ANC members in support of Zuma.

“Next time when we come here on the 26th of May, we will bring the whole Free State and KwaZulu-Natal here,” he said.

But Hanekom did not agree with Magashule’s perceived popularity.

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“He is not as popular in the Free State as he thinks he is. It is his right to take the ANC to court. And the right of the ANC to suspend him. Duty, in fact. The ANC is a voluntary organisation – you join it, you accept its rules and constitution,” Hanekom said.

Earlier on Monday, after Magashule’s utterances, the ANC said they would oppose his court application to have his suspension lifted.

Last week, Magashule served papers on the ANC, arguing that the rule forcing him to step aside from his position is unconstitutional.

In the papers, Magashule argued the party’s rule 25.70 in its constitution, that those who have been charged with serious crimes in a court of law should step aside, undermined the constitutional principle of innocent until proven guilty.