Ace wants to drag others through the mud – Gwede

Johannesburg – Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has dragged the Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe and Deputy Security Minister Zizi Kodwa into his legal batt le with President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC.

In court papers lodged at the Joburg High Court this week, Magashule alleges that Mantashe, who is the party’s national chairman, and Kodwa are being treated with kid gloves despite them facing corruption allegations.

“The false and contrived anti- corruption crusade is being used as a ruse to purge those who are unwanted for ideological differences. Some of the most allegedly corrupt elements in the ANC who happen to be in the dominant faction are actively shielded from the necessary scrutiny … and falsely portrayed as fighters of corruptions,” argues Magashule in his court papers.

Magashule said he will provide further details of leaders, including Mantashe and Kodwa, who he claims have been implicated in serious allegations of corruption, but remain “seemingly immune to prosecution and the reach of the revised step-aside rule”.

He said any faction that manages to capture the National Prosecutions Authority’s leadership will never be subjected to a step-aside resolution.

278 Ace Magashule during the ANC 54th Elective Conference. 201217. PICTURE: BONGIWE MCHUNU

He further alleged that the Ramaphosa faction “would stop at nothing in their quest to capture the offi ce of the secretary- general”.

An agitated Kodwa told Sunday World that Magashule was a desperate man who would do anything to save his skin. “I don’t want to dignify the fabrications that he is making. This is pure diversion from a desperate man. But we will meet him in court,” said Kodwa.

Mantashe retorted on Saturday, “There is no substance in the allegations that he is making. This is an attempt to drag other people into the mud with him.”

With little room to maneuver and on the brink of being sent to the political wilderness, Magashule wants the court to declare that his decision to suspend Ramaphosa as party president was valid and, as such, it should be upheld.

Magashule further wants the ANC’s step-aside resolution to be declared invalid and not consistent with the constitution of the republic.

The matter is before the Joburg High Court and is scheduled to be heard on June 1.

In the application, Magashule said the ANC’s step-aside regime was unlawful, unconstitutionally invalid, null and void. Key respondents in the application are Ramaphosa, who is listed as the first respondent, party deputy secretary Jessie Duarte as the second respondent, and the ANC as an organisation is the third respondent.

Magashule finds himself in the precarious position following his refusal to step aside from all party activities until he has been cleared by the court.

He is currently facing corruption charges relating to his alleged implication in the more than R255-million asbestos tender in his home province of Free State, which is believed to have been marred by corruption, money-laundering and fraud. Magashule, a former premier of Free State, is alleged to have facilitated the siphoning of public funds by not acting as the province’s political head.

In his supporting affidavit, Magashule also charges that he was a victim of infighting within the ANC and that he was targeted because he had supported the losing slate at the Nasrec 2017 elective conference.

Despite being given 30 days by the party’s NEC integrity commission to voluntarily step aside as per the ANC’s resolution, Magashule refused, even after seeking counsel from senior party veterans including Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Mathews Phosa and Kgalema Motlanthe.

When he could not get any joy from his political consultations, Magashule made a surprising suspension of Ramaphosa as party president after he was suspended for failing to voluntarily step aside aft er the 30-days notice had expired.

Last year, Kodwa appeared before the party’s integrity commission headed by party veteran George Mashamba.

He was hauled before the committee after his name was mentioned at the Zondo Commission as having received more than R300 000 in suspicious payments from EOH executive Jehan Mackay during his tenure as governing party spokesperson.

He was, however, cleared of the charges by the integrity commission. On the other hand, Mantashe faces a slew of allegations that he benefitted from the Bosasa kickbacks.

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