ANC secretary general (SG) Ace Magashule is expected to account to the party’s national executive committee (NEC) this weekend, after allegations surfaced that he was part of a plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Magashule is the latest of former president Jacob Zuma’s close allies which the NEC rapped over the knuckles.
Magashule was caught in a picture alongside Zuma, ANC Women’s League secretary general Meokgo Matuba and ousted North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo outside a Durban hotel. The Sunday Times newspaper reported that the leaders were meeting to plot a coup against Ramaphosa.
Although Magashule has denied the claims, insisting it was just an innocent meeting with the former ANC leader, he has not explained himself to the NEC.
NEC member Jackson Mthembu tweeted that the plot allegations should be investigated.
“The alleged clandestine plot, which regrettably includes the SG, comrade Ace Magashule, undermines the unity and renewal efforts of the ANC,” he tweeted.
Some NEC members told News24 that they wanted nothing short of an apology from Magashule.
“He must apologise to ANC members and the nation for plotting against the president,” one NEC member said.
Those opposing Magashule said the embattled secretary general would be weakened after the weekend meeting.
The last NEC meeting disbanded the party’s North West provincial executive committee, ousting Supra Mahumapelo as chairperson.
However, the national working committee (NWC) later decided to include him in the task team running the province to prepare for fresh internal elections.
Other NEC members expect the state capture commission of inquiry to dominate talks with some calling for those who were implicated and who would eventually be charged, to be hauled before the party’s integrity commission.
Magashule has not been directly implicated, but the commission of inquiry has heard that while he was premier of the Free State, his office was the biggest spender on the Gupta family’s media company.
He has also been implicated in corruption allegations linked to the Vrede dairy farm that was expected to empower black farmers. However, the money was said to have been used to fund the Gupta family’s 2013 wedding in Sun City.
Some in the ANC were disappointed at Magashule’s election to the party’s top six and were hoping to see him removed as secretary general, which serves as the engine of the organisation.
He has hit back at those calls, insisting he was an elected official and that no one could remove him from the post.