Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

‘I haven’t rejected EFF’, says Magashule as Mbalula takes swipe at ex-ANC leader

The former ANC secretary general has confirmed he has spoken to EFF leader Julius Malema.

Former African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule says his political future remains uncertain at this stage as he considers joining the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

EFF leader Julius Malema recently revealed the EFF was in talks with Magashule about him becoming a member of the party following his expulsion from the ANC.

Malema indicated that discussions were “at an advanced stage“.

Magashule was expelled from the ANC after he missed the deadline to respond to the party’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC).

The former secretary-general had been given seven days to give reasons why he should not be booted from the ruling party.

He had been found guilty of bringing the ANC into disrepute when he refused to apologise for trying to suspend President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2021.

‘Nowhere in the wilderness’

In an interview with Newzroom Africa on Monday night, Magashule dismissed media reports that he had rejected the EFF.

“There was some information over the weekend that Ace Magashule is rejecting the EFF. I’ve never rejected the EFF,” he said.

The former ANC secretary-general confirmed that he has spoken to Malema.

ALSO READ: ‘No permanent enemies in politics’ – Malema on Zuma, Magashule

Magashule said he has met with EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini, but also with other political figures such as United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) Bantu Holomisa and Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie.

“Julius Malema is my comrade — he’s right when he says they are engaging me,” he said, adding that “I have not decided what to do. I have not yet formed a new party”.

Magashule said he was still consulting with the ANC and had not formed a new political party or joined another party.

“I am nowhere in the wilderness… where I am – it’s still very hot and if people want to make it cold for me it will be pound for pound, but I am consulting.”

Magashule also sought to explain the rationale of his attempts to suspend Ramaphosa, saying the ANC’s Constitution empowered him to do so.

“I have also written letters suspending other members of the ANC… it’s only when it happens [at the higher structures] that Magashule has no powers.”

RELATED: ‘Manage your stress’ – Holomisa hits back at critics of his meeting with Magashule

He claimed that he was “expelled” from the ANC long before his dismissal was announced and accused businessman Johann Rupert of being involved in the process.

“I was expelled a long time ago. I was expelled because a certain Mr Rupert said if you don’t expel this man, I am not going to support you Mr President. That decision was taken outside the country,” he said.

Magashule is expected to hold a press briefing next week in which he will give details about his expulsion from the ANC and his political future.

Mbalula takes swipe at Magashule

Meanwhile, Magashule’s successor, Fikile Mbalula, revealed during his visit to Parys in the Free State on Tuesday that the former ANC secretary-general requested to meet with him, but rejected his advances.

“I was with President Ramaphosa yesterday… he told [me] to meet with Magashule and I said I don’t owe him anything. The ANC also doesn’t owe him anything. He can go do whatever he wants because he has been freed,” Mbalula told the crowd in Sesotho.

READ MORE: ‘Magashule has reached a cul-de-sac in his ANC career’ – Mantashe defends Mbalula

ANC members believed to be Magashule’s supporters were seen stomping and dancing on top of the countless party regalia.

Earlier this year, Magashule referred to Mbalula as “a boy” in politics, following his election as ANC secretary-general.

He said Mbalula had even reached out to him in attempt to repair their relationship.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits