You didn’t think Ace Magashule would go quietly, did you? After being given a 30-day ultimatum to ‘step aside or face suspension’, the ANC Secretary-General has decided to use his one month notice for self-preservation. And, according to the Sunday papers, supporters of the Jacob Zuma-inspired ‘RET Faction’ are ready to fight for their leaders.
City Press reports on Sunday that ANC members who back Magashule to the hilt will lead a series of ‘national shutdowns’ – with the aim of hosting protests in several city centres by disrupting businesses, occupying major commuter routes, and marching through crowded CBD streets.
The Ace-aligned MK Vets left a trail of destruction during their recent demonstrations in Durban – but it seems the RET fanatics are ready to branch out to other cities in the next few days. Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reports that the 61-year-old is crying foul over his impending suspension, claiming it is a political ploy by Cyril Ramaphosa.
It’s argued that the president ‘would be willing to drive his comrade out of the party’, to help boost his chances of re-election when South Africa returns to the polls. Local and municipal votes are set to take place later in 2021, and Cyril may even call for a General Election in 2023 – once he has taken back control of the factionalism running riot through the ANC.
Ace Magashule has been accused of several acts of corruption over the years – but he’s currently feeling the heat for crooked asbestos deal that was brokered during his time as the Free State Premier. The Hawks are investigating a R250 million fraud case that heavily implicates the party stalwart – and the ANC Integrity Commission wants him to step aside.
Unfortunately for them, the ruling party is at war with itself – and General Magashule isn’t one for backing down. It’s unclear just how prominent a role either Ace or Zuma will play in these proposed ‘national shutdowns’ – but you can guarantee that the pair of them will welcome any action that undermines Ramaphosa’s role as president.