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By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist


ANC in Free State expels 36 members for supporting Ace Magashule’s new party

One councillor was booted out after openly wearing ACT regalia a day after attending ANC branch meeting.


Ace Magashule's African Congress for Transformation (ACT) is wreaking havoc with the African National Congress (ANC) in the Free State, with some "rogue" members being sacked for working with the new party. Insiders say the former ANC secretary-general still commands support in his home province and is entrenching himself again while poaching ANC members. The expulsions come as the province prepares for a party manifesto review rally to be held in Thaba Nchu, outside the Mangaung metro. President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to address the rally Once an ANC strongman in the Free State, Magashule remains the governing party's longest-serving…

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Ace Magashule’s African Congress for Transformation (ACT) is wreaking havoc with the African National Congress (ANC) in the Free State, with some “rogue” members being sacked for working with the new party.

Insiders say the former ANC secretary-general still commands support in his home province and is entrenching himself again while poaching ANC members.

The expulsions come as the province prepares for a party manifesto review rally to be held in Thaba Nchu, outside the Mangaung metro.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to address the rally

Once an ANC strongman in the Free State, Magashule remains the governing party’s longest-serving premier after running the province between 2008 and 2018.

43 members expelled

In the Lejweleputswa region, 43 have been expelled for working with other parties while still ANC public representatives.

The group includes a former mayor, a former chief whip, two councillors and many branch members.

ALSO READ: 2024 election: Ace’s ACT a big rival to the ANC

Thirty-six were kicked out for participating in activities for Magashule’s party.

At least seven of them were found to be campaigning for other parties such as the African Democratic Change (ADeC), Independent South African National Civic Organisation (ISANCO) and the Patriotic Alliance (PA).

The two councillors – Victor Morris at Nala Municipality and Masentle Twala at Matjhabeng Municipality – were charged and expelled after disciplinary hearings.

According to sources, Morris was seen publicly wearing a PA T-shirt a few days after attending his Ward 11 branch meeting on the 2024 ANC candidate lists.

Meanwhile, a letter of suspension to Matjhabeng PR councillor Twala, that The Citizen has seen, accused her of being a “contact person” for ACT in Ward 32.

The region’s spokesperson Mpho Pitso on Wednesday said the 43 breached the ANC’s Membership Oath rule.

“Many defected to other parties, and we have proof of that. They were automatically expelled, we had to publish their names so that our members know what they are up to.

“They should have resigned from the party. Many of them were seen all over social media pronouncing on other parties except the ANC.”

Mangaung ‘not shaken’

The province’s capital Mangaung is also bleeding members who were faithful to Magashule, according to sources.

The region’s spokesperson Ncamile Nxangisa said people in Mangaung “love the ANC”.

“We haven’t received any complaints about ACT, however, we would not be surprised if it’s happening in other regions because really, many political parties come from the ANC.

“We are concerned about our masses, the people love ANC even today, we are not shaken.

“We’ve proved through by-elections when everyone had written us off, but people chose the ANC over Mangaung 7 and others,” said Nxangisa.

‘ACT is a choice’

Former Matjhabeng councillor Tshidi Noge is making her new choice known and continuously posted photos on Facebook of herself wearing ACT regalia ahead of her expulsion.

“ACT is ACT, like it or not. We have just arrived. We are here. Unshakable, fearless… talk to me, don’t talk about me! To ACT is a choice,” she wrote on her page on Monday.

However, her profile photo still depicts her in ANC colours.

This has not gone down well at the ANC.

“That is the highest level of ill-discipline, it shows you have taken a decision to work against the ANC while still a member.

“We can see they were in the ANC for positions. We know this is not a new thing, it happens every time ahead of elections, but most of them do this because they are no longer councillors after being rejected by the people,” said Pitso.

ALSO READ: Legislation for forming a party needs a relook

Lejweleputswa Local Municipality oversees five municipalities – Nala (Bothaville), Tokologo (Boshoff), Matjhabeng (Welkom), Tswelopele (Builtfontein) and Masilonyana (Theunissen).

Pitso said the ANC will soon field a candidate to replace ex-ward councillor Morris at Nala for a by-election.

Disrupting the status quo

According to the University of Free State (UFS) Associate Professor Sethulego Matebesi, Magashule is bound to get pockets of support in his home province.

He said the ACT leader is disrupting the ANC status quo in the Free State as he ambitiously works to overtake his former party.

“The largest command of large support for people such as Ace Magashule was mainly in the ANC. Will he command the same support somewhere else? I do not think so.

“He will not get the same big support but I strongly believe he will disrupt the status quo in his home province.

“We saw what happened when he was expelled when people burned ANC T-shirts in his Parys home town, so there will be people aligning with him, those who have nothing to lose,” Matebesi said.

But this won’t be the same for those who occupy senior positions in the province. Without senior ANC members publicly supporting ACT, Magashule faces an uphill battle, he added.

“The question is how do you publicly pronounce that you are aligning with Magashule while still drawing your big salary from government?

“Remember that this is politics of the stomach, as much as we do not want to see it, politicians put themselves and their interests first.

“Magashule’s new party will bring trouble, but there are still questions on how he handled issues while he was premier and later at Luthuli House.”

NOW READ: Sanco hails Ace Magashule’s African Transformation Congress as a blessing for ANC

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