ANC celebrates 111 years

Ramaphosa slams Magashule for ‘capturing’ ANC branches in Free State

Buoyant from his victory in Nasrec last month, the ANC boss says renewal train will crush anyone on its way

Former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has taken a swipe at the former Free State strongman Ace Magashule for allegedly having previously “captured” party branches in the province.

Ramaphosa challenged the ANC Women’s League in the province to make sure that such capturing of party structures does not happen again.

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He was speaking at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein at an ANCWL event on Wednesday as part of the build-up to the party’s 111 anniversary celebration billed for Sunday.

“Our branches have become weak, especially here in the Free State. So as women of the ANC you must be at the forefront of reviving our branches,” said Ramaphosa.

“I tried to revive the branches in this province, [former] deputy president David Mabuza followed suit, so did former president Thabo Mbeki and former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and it took us a long time but now the branches are showing hope and it is now the responsibility of the women’s league to make these branches work.

“You must not allow these branches to be captured again. The branches in this province were being used to advance the interests of an individual. The branches must not to be diverted away from the principles and values of the ANC.”

The individual Ramaphosa was seemingly referring to was Magashule who ruled the province as chair for two decades before graduating to Luthuli House as secretary-general.

The remnants of Magashule’s influence and control are still evident despite his departure five years ago . As a result, the ANC in the Free State has not been able to sit for its provincial conference.

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Last year, the province, along with Western Cape, were the only two culprits that could not convene their conferences ahead of the party’s national conference last month.

For the Free State, the countless delays were credited to branches that were still beholden to the Magashule clashes with those pushing the renewal agenda.

Ramaphosa told the ANCWL that there was progress in ridding the province of this capture through the party’s renewal programme. .

“The train of renewal is in motion and it will crush anyone who stands on its way,” he said.

Ramaphosa said his re-election last month was proof that the party wanted him to continue with cleansing it of rogue elements.

According to him the renewal of the ANC was a matter of life and death if the party’s hope to continue being the leader of society is to be kept alive.

Said Ramaphosa: “As we continue to renew the ANC, the outcome of the 55th national conference was a vote of confidence that we must forge ahead with this renewal despite those who have been steadfast to stop this project. That is why we say whether they like it or not we will not be deterred.

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“Unless we renew the ANC S A will be in serious trouble. The future of our country depends on the renewal process of the ANC.”

Ramaphosa said he was seized with taking the party back to its glory days of esteemed leaders such as Charlotte Maxeke, Oliver Tambo and Albertina Sisulu.

The time of just preaching renewal was over, it was now time to act, said Ramaphosa.

As Ramaphosa spoke renewal, party members will this weekend assemble at the Free State in Mangaung metro, one of the worst run municipalities in the country.

This is one of the only three metropolitan municipalities – alongside eThekwini and Buffalo City –  that are still under ANC’s majority control.

The Mangaung chaos has got out of control so much so that ANC divisions have played themselves out in council where its councillors defied party line at will by voting with opposition parties on crucial matters.

The municipality was placed under administration for its “significant financial and service delivery failures” in April 2022 and its inability to spent conditional grants from the national treasury.

In 2020 the auditor-general flagged the municipality for returning to   Treasury a whooping R429m grant for failing to spend it despite its collapsing infrastructure.


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