Bheki Cele accuses Ace Magashule of destroying the ANC
ANC NEC member Bheki Cele has launched a blistering attack on the party’s secretary-general‚ Ace Magashule‚ and has accused him of destroying the party by saying it introduced him to the Gupta family.
Addressing an ANC rally in Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal to celebrate the ANC’s 106th birthday on Saturday‚ Cele said Magashule had said he was introduced to the Gupta family by the ANC when newly-elected NEC leaders were introducing themselves.
“There is one who said he was introduced by the ANC to the Guptas and he happened to be the SG. I have never met a person who was introduced to the Guptas by the ANC. Ace Magashule says he was introduced by the ANC to the Guptas.
“I see why we are going to have a problem. And the problem is going to be that the Guptas have a stranglehold on us. So there is one who was taken on a tray to the Guptas but he does not say what his programme is but now we are beginning to suspect that his programme is to destroy the ANC‚” said Cele.
He also lashed out at Magashule for saying that the newly-elected ANC leadership will be there for five years. Cele said Magashule had made the remarks while addressing ANC members sympathetic to President Jacob Zuma in Pietermaritzburg last Sunday.
“You can’t be SG and go to a platform and say that people who have been elected will be there for five years. You need to tell us who are you working for. It’s not even two months [since we were elected] and you are already giving us five years. You can’t do that without being sent by someone who sent you to destroy the ANC.
“The ANC will defend itself. We want this ANC to live forever and that’s why we will defend the leadership that has been elected. Who are you? You attack the body that you have been elected to lead. We promise that five years is going to finish and if there is someone who has to leave‚ it’s you‚” said Cele.
The ANC rally in Vryheid is believed to be a response to the one addressed by Magashule in Pietermaritzburg. While ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has been preaching unity within the party‚ it continues to be dogged by divisions in KZN over the formation of a provincial task team (PTT) aimed at unifying the party ahead of the 2019 elections.
The 16-member PTT appointed by Magashule included members of both factions in the province — those who supported former provincial chairman Senzo Mchunu and Sihle Zikalala who defeated him in the contested 2015 elective conference which has since been annulled by the court.
But Mchunu’s supporters have rejected the composition of the PTT which is dominated by members of the unlawful Zikalala provincial executive committee which has been suspended by the NEC.
Cele‚ who openly campaigned for Ramaphosa‚ told ANC supporters that the party will not ignore unity and will not stop working for it.
He also called on party supporters to stop wearing T-shirts that promoted factionalism ahead of the ANC elective conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg in December.
“I had said that whoever will win and become ANC president I will be there to support them. I openly said who I supported and I never hid that. Now I have the president. When the president is elected he is our president.”
He said while he was ashamed to be a member of the old ANC NEC “I am not ashamed to be a member of this ANC NEC”.
He said the NEC was dealing with complaints about the composition of the interim provincial task team and encouraged ANC members to choose the names of people they want to be part of it.
“I heard you complained that it is not balanced and that is being dealt with. The provinces should choose the names of the people who should be part of the PTT which will then be sent to the NEC for approval‚” he said.
He also urged members not to be part of those destroying the unity of the ANC.
“If there are people who want to do that let them go.”
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