Tag: Ace Magashule

Arrest warrant issued for Ace Magashule’s ex-assistant

A warrant of arrest has been issued for suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s former personal assistant Moroadi Cholota, for her alleged role in the multi-million rand asbestos case.

The state revealed in the High Court in Bloemfontein that Cholota, who is believed to be studying in the United States (US) is no longer a state witness and has been added onto the list of suspects. Now officials are in the process of bringing her back to South Africa to face trial.

Magashule and at least 15 other co-accused face charges of corruption racketeering and money laundering – in relation to a lucrative asbestos tender that was found to be unlawfully awarded when he was still Free State premier.

MAGASHULE’S FORMER ASSISTANT NOT CO-OPERATING WITH THE STATE

State prosecutor in the asbestos case, Advocate Johan de Nysschen told the court on Wednesday that he had no choice but to sign an warrant of arrest for Cholota. De Nysschen says this is because she was not being co-operative with them.

“Under the circumstances, I had no choice but to sign a warrant of arrest for her. We are in the process of getting her back to SA. She is a suspect and soon to be an accused in the matter. If we cannot get her timeously, the state will have no choice but to proceed without her,”

State Prosecutor Advocate Johan de Nysschen

Background: In 2014, the Free State human settlements department awarded a contract worth a whopping R255 million to two companies – Diamond Hill and Blackhead Consulting. This was to audit and assess houses for asbestos roofs in the province. The project entailed inspecting 300 000 low-cost houses, however it would later be revealed that almost no work was no done, despite the money being paid.

Here’s how Ace Magashule fits into this scandal: At the time, he was still the province’s premier – he is alleged to have condoned and accepted a number of gratifications on behalf of others from Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani, the late owner of Diamond Hill Trading, one of the two companies that were irregularly rewarded the contract. The payments total over R1 million, including R300 000 for tablets and R53 000 towards the tuition fees for the daughter of an acting judge.

ANC has 24 hours to respond to Ace Magashule’s suspension claims

The cash-strapped ANC has 24 hours to respond to its suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule’s claims that factional battles within the ANC prompted his suspension and not the criminal charges against him.

Magashule, in his application in the Gauteng High Court to set aside his suspension, said his removal from office was aimed at ensuring that the CR-17 faction which supports President Cyril Ramaphosa re-elects him as party president during its next elective conference in December 2022.

His claims are contained in his 53-page sworn affidavit submitted in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday asking to set aside his suspension. He also took a swipe at the ANC’s Integrity Commission for allegedly failing to provide reasons for his stepping aside.

On Monday, however, the ANC only announced the appointment of top lawyers in the country who will be defending it when the matter appears for a hearing on June 1.

After the ANC’s announcement, social media was abuzz with several people asking who will pay for these lawyers especially after the party failed to pay staff salaries on time.

The appointment also surprised many as information was leaked that the party was planning to lay off 50% of staff due to lack of funds.

Last week, ANC acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte admitted that their financial troubles were due to the sudden withdrawal of their funders. Duarte indicated that might be due to the promulgation of the new funding model for political parties in the country.

“Some of these funders were also funding opposition parties. So they might fear that they would be exposed in the future,” Duarte said.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe was not available to comment on who will be responsible for the legal fees for the lawyers advocates Wim Trengrove SC, Ngwako Maenetje SC, Fana Nalane SC and Buhle Lekokotla.

Magashule, however, is expecting his party to file its answering affidavits to allow the court to hear the application. He has asked the court to either appoint a Judge or full bench to hear his application.

In his application, Magashule laid bare what he believed was the alleged clandestine motive to place him on suspension. According to Magashule’s papers, his criminal charge in the Bloemfontein High Court, has nothing to do with his suspension, but factional ANC battles.

All the details are included in his affidavit, in support of his application, saying he was allegedly punished for having supported Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for the ANC presidency at the ANC elective conference in December 2017 while Ramaphosa had his own faction known as CR17.

“The divisions between rival factions were also defined by the deep-seated ideological divisions about the political direction which the ANC needs to take in order to resolve one of the most pressing problems facing present-day South Africa.

“Simplistically put, the CR-17 ticket factors a reformist and tentative approach to transformation, with too much emphasis on pacifying investors, ratings agencies and local big business, which remains white- dominated.

“On the other hand, the other grouping believes that a much more fast-paced and radical economic transformation programme, which is more focused on the needs of the poorest and most marginalised section of the population and not the richest of them,” Magashule said.

Magashule, in his application, also included transcripts of the audio clips which were leaked to the media to justify his claim that his suspension was based on factional battles within the ANC.

“I give all these details in order to support my fervent and steadfast belief that factionalism and not the face of some newfound anti-corruption clean-up is what lies behind my unlawful, radical and premature suspension.

“It would be demonstrably naive in the extreme to accept the opposite view, which is continued by some to mask their real intentions. At the core of the issue, is the malaise of factionalism. There are no angels and devils, as the issues are carefully choreographed in the mainstream media, which supports the dominant Cr-17 faction,” Magashule said.

He further said: “The real motive behind my being purged is the desire to remove me, by hook or by crook, from the all-powerful position of SG, so that the road to the re-election of President Cyril Ramaphosa and his faction in the next national conference is made easier.”

Magashule has also included a legal opinion from former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa – obtained in October last year – which says a person should not be forced to step aside without having undergone a disciplinary process.

The legal opinion and transcripts of the ANC’s national executive committee meeting on May 8- 10 forms part of Magashule’s court records.

Magashule turns to court to overturn suspension

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has launched legal action against the governing party as well as its president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.

Magashule was suspended by his party last week for failing to step aside after he was given 30 days as per the ANC’s resolution.

He faces corruption charges stemming from an asbestos roofing project during his tenure as premier of the Free State.

He wants a suspension letter issued to him by Duarte to be set aside and declare Ramaphosa suspended instead.  Court papers that Magashule served on the ANC, Ramaphosa – in his personal and ANC capacity – and deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte surfaced on Friday morning.

In it, Magashule asks the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to hear the case on 1 June on an urgent basis.  Magashule wants the “ANC step aside rule or regime and/or Rule 25.70 of te ANC constitution” – as well as his suspension letter from Ramaphosa – to be declared “to be unlawful, unconstitutional, invalid and null and/or void”

In turn, he wants his suspension of Ramaphosa to be declared valid and effective until lawfully nullified, and that the instruction for him to apologise to Ramaphosa for attempting to suspend him e declared “unlawful and unenforceable”.

The deadline for that apology is Friday, 14 May 2021.

Magashule wants his court bid to be heard on an urgent basis as the party finalises plans ahead of the local government elections in October.

Will Magashule apologise to Ramaphosa

It now remains to be seen whether suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule will apologise to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa announced an instruction on Monday from the national executive committee for Magashule to apologise to him and the party’s faithful over an unauthorised suspension letter he issued against him last week.

But there is still no telling what the defiant secretary-general will do; he has been given a small window for this otherwise he will face disciplinary proceedings from the party.

Magashule, who was suspended last week, attempted to return the favour to the party’s president, a move Ramaphosa said he had not been authorised or mandated to do.

The embattled secretary-general had argued that he should be allowed to continue in his job as he has appealed his suspension.

While reaction to news of Magashule being told to apologise to party Ramaphosa vary, most agree that the ANC’s current leadership has reached a point of no return.

On Monday, Ramaphosa had this to say about Magashule’s recent antics: “The NEC agreed that such conduct was completely unacceptable and a flagrant violation of the rules, the norms and the values of the African National Congress.”

Supporters of both Magashule and Ramaphosa with the latter claiming victory arguing that the embattled secretary general’s ego won’t allow him to apologise thus paving his own way out of the party.

Meanwhile, Magashule’s own angry supporters say he must never apologise, instead urging him to go the legal route.

Magashule has already given the ANC a warning that he was considering his next move.

Ramaphosa respond to Magashule’s ‘suspension letter’

African National Congress (ANC) president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has told the party’s parliamentary caucus that he received suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule’s letter attempting to suspend him with shock and a measure of dismay.

Ramaphosa, who addressed the party’s caucus on Thursday morning, said that he received the letter of suspension from Magashule on Wednesday night.

Magashule, who is appealing his suspension, insists he remains the secretary-general of the ANC.

He is one of the party’s leaders affected by its 2017 resolution to step aside but was suspended after failing to do so within the allocated 30 days.

It is the first time that the wider ANC hears from Ramaphosa on the letter, which he is said to have received last night at 10pm.

Sources inside the ANC caucus said that a confident Ramaphosa said that while he was shocked about the letter, he was leaving it to the NEC to deal with it over the weekend.

It is also understood that he said he received the letter with some dismay as the issue of attempting to suspend him as a president of the party had never been discussed and that it came out of the blue.

One source said that Ramphosa’s address was reassuring.

Magashule faces EXPULSION from ANC – for ‘trying to suspend Ramaphosa’

As if Ace Magashule’s suspension from the ANC wasn’t already a massive story, the sulking Secretary-General left his comrades – and the wider South African public – dumbfounded after he then threatened to suspend President Ramaphosa.

ACE VS CYRIL: ANC TEARS ITSELF APART OVER ‘STEP ASIDE SUSPENSIONS’

Ace’s retaliation to the temporary suspension is nothing short of farcical – to the point where many of his comrades thought his attempts to impose the same punishment on Ramaphosa was a joke. Alarm bells only start ringing inside the ANC when Magashule himself confirmed the authenticity of his letter.

And now, this little stunt *could* earn the 61-year-old a permanent EXPULSION from the party…

IS MAGASHULE FACING EXPULSION FROM THE ANC?

Magashule genuinely believes the party’s own Constitution is on his side, stating that he does have the authority to send Cyril packing first. However, his version of events has been largely discredited, and things are going from bad to worse:

CAN MAGASHULE SUSPEND RAMAPHOSA?

Not really, no. National Chairperson of the African National Congress, Gwede Mantashe, confirmed Wednesday evening that the letter ‘has no consequence’ as Magashule doesn’t have the authority to suspend Ramaphosa.

Mantashe explained that the decisions within the party ‘are taken by structures and not individuals’. He added that the intention of Magashule’s letter was to cause confusion, and ‘is not worth the paper it is written on’. The ANC stalwart did not elaborate on the possibility of expulsion for Ace Magashule, however.

ANC gives Magashule, corrupt cadres ’30 days to step down’

We knew we’d get fireworks from the conclusion of the ANC NEC’s meeting on Monday night – but Cyril Ramaphosa may have just given us a pyrotechnic display for the ages. The president has confirmed that the party is laying down the law for its badly behaved members – giving the likes of Ace Magashule a strict deadline to adhere to.

ACE MAGASHULE LATEST: CYRIL RAMAPHOSA TALKS TOUGH ON ‘RET FORCES’

In a defiant statement, Ramaphosa responded to criticism about his ‘softly, softly’ approach to an emerging faction in the party. In fact, the head of state made it clear that the NEC meeting agreed no ANC member should associate themselves with, or be involved in, the so-called ‘RET Forces’. However, corruption-accused cadres also came in for a lashing.

Cyril told the briefing that all members ‘accused or charged with corruption’ have 30 days in which to step aside – otherwise, implicated members will be forcibly suspended. We will have more on these developments on Tuesday.

PRESIDENT ISSUES ’30-DAY WARNING’ FOR CORRUPTION-ACCUSED MEMBERS

“All members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they should be suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC Constitution. The meeting emphasised that the 30 day period will be to enable the implementation of the decision in line with the guidelines, not to review the decision.”

“The NEC welcomed the decision by Ace Magashule to use this time to seek the counsel of past leaders of the movement. It was also agreed that the Provincial Chairpersons and Secretaries would meet with the National Officials during that time to further refine the guidelines to ensure the resolution can be effectively and practically implemented.”

 

ANC Top Brass Respects Zuma’s Rights

Secretary general of the African National Congress (ANC),  Ace Magashule, said the party’s top officials had made a decision to respect former President Jacob Zuma’s rights. The top 6 held a virtual meeting with the former leader on Monday night over his decision to defy a Constitutional Court order to return to the state capture inquiry.

Ace Magashule described the meeting, which lasted 5 hours, as positive, constructive, energising and giving of hope to the people of South Africa. Zuma missed his deadline to oppose the state capture commission’s contempt of court application, which is currently before the Constitutional Court. The former president maintained that he will go back to the witness stand at the inquiry if its chairperson Raymond Zondo recuses himself.

Magashule said the top six meeting with Zuma anchored around the country’s Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He described it as one of the best meetings ever held, and told journalists during Monday night’s media briefing that Zuma delivered an extensive presentation to ANC leaders explaining his position.

“And we all agreed that there has not been any intention to undermine the Constitution of South Africa.”

The top officials were tasked by the national executive committee during its meeting last month to engage the former leader to understand his decision to defy the constitutional court.   Magashule said the party respected Zuma’s rights and had decided to give him space to deal with the matter.

“Whether to appear before the state commission, judicial commission of inquiry… we have left that matter because he will further consult with his lawyers.”

 

Ace Magashule must immediately step aside

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has to step aside pending the outcome of his fraud and corruption case, or be suspended, the party’s integrity commission has recommended.  In its three-page report to the ANC’s national executive committee, the commission says the party’s conference decisions must apply “without fear of favour”

In its recommendations, it quotes the resolution stating ANC members who are formally charged should step aside pending the finalisation of their cases.

Should the officials not have developed clear guidelines on this process as yet, “such individuals will be instructed to step aside”, the resolution said.

According to the report, Magashule has indicated he would abide by the decisions of the NEC, but should this not happen, the NEC should consider suspending him in line with Rule 25.70 of the party’s constitution, the report said.

It is up to the NEC to decide how to act on this report.

Magashule to Face ANC Integrity Commission

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.

 

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