Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘Cyril is making a terrible mistake,’ says Malema on Magashule

Malema said Magashule’s stepping aside would collapse the ANC as secretary-general position was 'the belly of the party'.

EFF leader Julius Malema says ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is making a terrible mistake by removing secretary-general Ace Magashule as he faces criminal charges.

This is after Ramaphosa announced during his closing address after the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting that all members facing criminal charges within the ruling party must step aside within 30 days or face suspension.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, 30 March, following the EFF’s 2021 national plenum, Malema said he believed the move to make Magashule step aside from his position was ” self-destruction”.

“There is nothing much to say on Ace Magashule. It is a self destruction. The party is imploding and there is nothing we can do about it. It is dying a natural death. Cyril is making a terrible mistake – you cannot remove a secretary-general through Zoom,” he said.

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Malema said Magashule’s stepping aside would collapse the ANC as the position of secretary-general was “the belly of the party”.

“That position is not just a position you wake up and attack. That is the belly of the party. So you are attacking the party from the belly. You will collapse it,” he said.

Malema continued to say that he believed the secretary-general had been asked to step aside because the “white establishment says Magashule is a problem”.

“And in pleasing the white establishment, you then remove your own secretary-general. The ANC structures elected Magashule with all these scandals hanging over his head – they knew about these things. They love him like that.

“They love them corrupt anyway. So, why do you think that the ANC structures wouldn’t want a secretary-general like that when they have elected him like that?” he asked.

“There was a huge scandal of Vrede [dairy farm], there was [the] asbestos [scandal], there was RDP [scandal] which involved Hlaudi [Motsoeneng] and all of that. All of those things were known when Magashule was elected.”

The ANC’s integrity committee recommended last year Magashule should step aside to respect a Nasrec 2017 conference decision that all members facing malfeasance charges should do so.

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Magashule faces corruption charges for his alleged role in the multimillion-rand asbestos audit contract scandal in the Free State.

He is out on R200,000 bail and faces 21 charges of fraud and corruption.

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