South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has suspended its Secretary-General, Ace Magashule.
In a letter, drafted on 3 May, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte informed Magashule that he was temporarily suspended with effect from 3 May 2021, until the final outcome of his court proceedings.
Magashule is out on R200 000 bail and charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering related to a Free State asbestos tender.
Duarte told Magashule that, as part of his suspension, the latter may not carry out his duties and responsibilities as the secretary-general; he may not represent the organisation publicly, and he cannot make public pronouncements nor can he mobilise ANC structures. Reads the letter in part:
You may not engage in the mobilisation of ANC structures, any other organisations or individuals, including on your stepping aside and matters related thereto.
You are required to update the Office of the Secretary-General on a monthly basis, regarding the progress with your case. The decision to temporarily suspend you will be reviewed by the NEC every six months, or from time to time at your request.
The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) on Monday gave the green light to suspend all party leaders criminally charged, who did not step aside within the 30-day deadline, which expired last week.
Magashule rejected a push that he step aside, insisting that he could only be removed by a conference of the ANC.