President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the African National Congress (ANC) secretary general, Ace Magashule, has agreed to appear before the party’s integrity commission, but it has come to light that Ace Magashule confirmed an appointment with the commission in November already.
Ace Magashule is set to meet the body, consisting of the elders of the African National Congress, on Saturday in the wake of his arrest on criminal charges. Magashule’s also been at the centre of fierce debates in the ANC around the party’s 2017 Nasrec conference resolution that members facing serious charges should step aside while investigations continue. The Secretary General is facing 21 counts of corruption, fraud and money laundering.
Ramaphosa and Magashule both made a commitment to appear before the integrity commission but it appears that Magashule’s legal battle prompted him to seek an audience with the party’s elders a while back. In correspondation the commission tried to schedule a meeting on 28 November but Magashule said he was otherwise engaged. Secretary General Magashule and the party then settled on a meeting this coming weekend.
University of KwaZulu-Natal political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said Magashule had managed to buy himself some time.
“And by the mere fact of that pronouncement (of appearing before the commission) seemingly paralyses the NEC from carrying out its duties.”
According to Mnguni, this was happening in spite of the ANC’s constitution, which allows for a temporary suspension of Magashule. Mguni also that by preempting his own party, the secretary general has also set the tone for the agenda instead of having it dictated to him.