Strategic Dialogue Group wants Ace Magashule charged for suspending President Cyril Ramaphosa

08 May 2021 - 12:52
By aphiwe deklerk AND Aphiwe Deklerk
Ace Magashule, the suspended ANC secretary general. File image
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko Ace Magashule, the suspended ANC secretary general. File image

The Strategic Dialogue Group wants suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to be taken to the party’s disciplinary committee after he wrote a letter suspending President Cyril Ramaphosa this week.

The SDG is a grouping of ANC members, led by former water affairs director-general Pam Yako, which was formed in 2018.

“The SDG also believes that Mr Magashule’s ill-judged and futile attempt to suspend President Ramaphosa constitutes a gross offence which necessitates the urgent intervention of the ANC’s disciplinary committee, courting expulsion. 

“No individual in the ANC has the power unilaterally to suspend another member, most especially she or he who holds the high position of the president. The suspension is devoid of constitutional validity!” reads the statement.

Magashule’s future hangs in the balance: he was suspended by the party for failing to step aside from his position after he was given 30 days to consult with senior leaders.

He had been asked to step aside as per the ANC resolution which compels members who are facing criminal charges to step aside from their positions while they are dealing with their cases.

Magashule was last year criminally charged for his role in the multimillion-rand Free State asbestos tender.

After a letter of suspension this week, signed by his deputy Jessie Duarte, Magashule retaliated by issuing a letter of suspension against Ramaphosa.   

“That Mr Magashule believes that he has such power speaks volumes about his political pedigree. We call on fellow members of the ANC and the activist base of the broad democratic movement to close ranks behind the leadership of the ANC at this juncture. 

“Comrades should turn down mischievous invitations from the counter-revolutionaries à la Dhlakama and Savimbi who are destroying the ANC; the only vehicle that has the potential to change the lives of our people for the better,” reads the statement.

It said it was high time that all leaders of the ANC, starting with the national executive committee, realised that factional battles exert a heavy toll on the brand SA and the country’s ability to attract the necessary volumes of investment for development in the domestic and international markets. 

The grouping said those who truly appreciate the values and policies of the ANC would hardly find the step-aside resolution objectionable. 

“It is intended to promote good hygiene in the conduct of public affairs, safeguard the sanctity of public institutions and the imperative for accountability to the people of SA. 

“As a matter of principle, those who make themselves available for leadership have an obligation to lead by example — what the auditing profession refers to as the 'tone at the top' — and to safeguard the integrity and image of the institutions they lead,” the group said.