Ace’s expulsion poses no major risk – ANC

The ANC boldly expelled its former secretary general, Ace Magashule, without conducting risk analysis to assess the potential impact this might have on the party’s electoral fortunes in the next general election.

Luthuli House top brass assumed that Magashule posed no threat to the organisation, and his departure would probably strengthen the governing party’s electoral prospects rather than weaken them.

Magashule was shown the door on Monday following a lengthy disciplinary process in which he chose not to present himself before the disciplinary committee.

Sources close to Magashule told Sunday World he was working secretly with disgruntled ANC members, and talking to smaller political parties about the possibility of collaboration.

Based on the support he thinks he has in various provinces, Magashule made his intentions clear that he would bring down the ANC with others’ help.

“After Ace was suspended, he gathered intelligence on how to infiltrate ANC branches around the country. There are many disgruntled ANC members who support everything he does. They are working on the ground to mobilise support if Ace starts a new party,” said an ally.

Magashule’s problems began in 2021 when, after being suspended from his position as ANC administration boss, he retaliated by suspending Ramaphosa without the ANC’s approval. When he refused to apologise to Ramaphosa, the protracted disciplinary process was triggered, which concluded he should be dismissed.

But ANC heavyweights believe Magashule’s expulsion only accelerated his life plans outside the ANC. The party was unapologetic for expelling a powerful strongman who has for two decades consolidated his base in the Free State.

According to an insider, his expulsion has sent a strong message to all ANC members that misconduct will not be tolerated.

“There is no risk assessment necessary; it is a disciplinary matter, and it must be understood as such, so there is no risk assessment conducted to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. The man snubbed the DC, so it was an appropriate decision,” said an ANC leader who preferred not to be named.

The leader said Magashule got a second chance yet did nothing because he had long decided to form a political party or go to bed with opponents of the ANC such as the EFF.

EFF leader Julius Malema has confirmed having held talks with Magashule.

The ANC head honchos insist that Magashule cannot form his own party, as he would receive scant support.

Another ANC leader who aligned with Magashule within the ANC said the former Free State strongman would hurt the governing party if he joined the EFF.

“The ANC undermines the man’s influence at its peril. Here is a man who led the ANC in a province for 20 years and became SG.

“That cannot be someone you wish away easily. Should he join the EFF, I think the ANC will lose the Free State in the next elections. The man has serious ground support there.”

According to his political allies, Magashule has options beyond joining the EFF, including consolidating parties. This would manifest in working with Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s African Content Movement, Carl Niehaus’ African Radical Economic Transformation Alliance (Areta) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM).

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