Ace tries to get Zuma allies into NEC meeting

Ace Magashule, the ANC provincial chairman and Free State premier, says leaders and members must find each other if they do not want the party to perish.
Ace Magashule, the ANC provincial chairman and Free State premier, says leaders and members must find each other if they do not want the party to perish.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's move to allow his allies to attend a national executive committee (NEC) meeting was rejected during the meeting.

Details have emerged of how Magashule allegedly invited former Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provincial leaders - William Bulwane, Paseka Nompondo, Sihle Zikalala and Super Zuma - to attend last week's first NEC meeting since Cyril Ramaphosa became ANC president at the International Convention Centre in East London, Eastern Cape.

The meeting only discussed the January 8 statement delivered by Ramaphosa on Saturday.

A Free State ANC leader told Sowetan yesterday Magashule invited them to attend the meeting.

"But they were chucked out of the meeting."

The leader said while ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte was busy presenting her credentials, party chairman Gwede Mantashe stood up to clarify that former Free State and KwaZulu-Natal leaders should not attend the meeting.

A pro-Ramaphosa supporter said the leaders from the two provinces were told to leave the meeting. "Ace wanted to bring them through the back door."

However, Bulwane denied that he was asked to leave the meeting.

"Nobody asked me to leave the meeting. It is an organisational matter. I am not going to discuss it with anybody in the newspapers."

Zuma declined to comment yesterday, saying: "It is better to speak to the SG (Ace Magashule) because you are speaking about the NEC issue."

Magashule and ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa could not be reached for comment.

The issue of the two provinces' disbandment and other issues are expected to be discussed at the two-day NEC meeting which is expected to start on Thursday.

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