ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has defended former president Jacob Zuma’s defiance of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruling compelling him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
The Constitutional Court ruled that Msholozi must return to the Commission to answer vital questions about state corruption. A failure to do so could lead to the 78-year-old’s arrest on Monday 15 February – the day his showdown with Raymond Zondo is set down for. However, Zuma does have support from one corner of the ANC.
Magashule on Wednesday paid a courtesy visit to the family of late Rebecca Kotane, on behalf of the party’s national executive committee. During the visit in Soweto, Ace Magashule told the media that they must ‘leave Jacob Zuma alone’.
He defended his long-standing comrade, questioning what he’d done wrong, and also asked for further clarity on the situation. “Leave comrade Zuma alone. Just leave him alone. What is the problem, and what has he done? I can’t talk on behalf of Jacob Zuma, but he has his own rights. You can’t want me to say anything.
“Why should we suspend Jacob Zuma for his beliefs? He has the right to do whatever he wants to do, I don’t see the issue. Why should I call him to order? There’s nothing wrong with what he has done. There are many wrong things happening in this country. We can go through the days of Truth and Reconciliation. The media stayed quiet about apartheid killings,” he said.
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It also seems like Ace Magahsule’s position could cause some serious divides within the ANC. Pule Mabe, the party’s spokesperson, earlier condemned the behaviour of Jacob Zuma, branding his defiance of the State Capture Inquiry summons as ‘unprecedented’. Once again, factional faultlines are creating serious issues at the heart of government.
“This is unprecedented, we have never dealt with anything like this in ANC, we always expect our members to respect the law. The NEC will discuss how to respond to this,” Mabe said.