‘It will not happen’ – Free State ANC rejects alliance with Magashule’s ACT

'I went to see him before the conference at Nasrec. I asked him to stop the hatred he had to build the organisation. He promised to consider that but he never came back,' says Dukwana.

The ANC Free State leadership has vowed not to work with the African Congress for Transformation (ACT), which was formed by its former provincial chair and expelled former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

During the launch of ACT in Soweto in August, Magashule said he would be willing to work with the ANC in a coalition because he still had some good comrades in the party.

Poaching ANC members

The ANC in the province has been bleeding membership to ACT and some members have been sacked for working with Magashule’s new party.

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

It was believed that the former secretary-general still commanded support in his home province and was entrenching himself again while poaching ANC members.

ANC provincial chair and Free State premier Mxolisi Dukwana said he was not blinded by what some may call his hatred for Magashule, but the ANC in Free State was aware that he was working to destabilise the ANC in the province. Dukwana said they needed to consolidate the support for the ANC in the province.

“We decided that our focus should not be Ace and his party but to focus on our organisation to make sure we can revive the structures of the movement.

ALSO READ: Mahumapelo says Magashule ‘shouldn’t have left’ ANC

“It has nothing to do with Ace but everything to do with us as an organisation,” he said. He said for the longer part of Magashule’s tenure as ANC Free State ANC chair rules out working with Ace chair in the Free State, he had eroded the proper functions of branches.

‘It will not happen’

Dukwana has rejected the notion of working with the former secretary-general.

“How do you go out, start your own thing and come back to say we can work together?

“I went to see him before the conference at Nasrec. I asked him to stop the hatred he had to build the organisation. He promised to consider that but he never came back,” he said.

“He now wants to stand there after starting his own thing and say we must work together. It will not happen. We will see who we work with but we intend to make sure we win the elections outright.”

Dukwana vs Magashule

Dukwana said he had worked well with Magashule previously but power and money had changed him and that was how things between the pair started to go wrong. He said the battle lines between them were drawn when he agreed to stand against Magashule in the provincial conference in 2012.

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

“When people draw a line and every time you go to a conference, there must be us and them. This has been the way he has been doing things. You can’t divide people and then hope to unite them at the end.”

“We need to get over that and it’s what one has been doing. It has created a situation that some believe is weak because you are trying to bring everybody on board, even those who used to insult me.”

Dukwana won the provincial conference in January after a hotly contested contest against former premier Sisi Ntombela.