By Thys Khiba
Johannesburg – The suspended African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General (SG) Ace Magashule approaches the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal his suspension.
This is after the ANC temporarily suspended him in May, until the outcome of his legal proceedings, with a letter signed by ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte.
His suspension came at the time whereby the ANC’s deadline for leaders implicated in and facing corruption charges before the courts to step aside from their roles had passed.
Magashule argues that the ANC and country’s President Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle and appointments of certain ministers had also included ANC members facing serious corruption charges.
He continued to say that the President’s Cabinet reshuffle earlier this month, supported by the ANC, indicated the selective and factional application of the step-aside evidenced by the promotion and retention of ANC members who are facing serious corruption allegations.
Magashule named newly appointed Finance Minister Enoch Gondongwana, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, Deputy Minister in the Presidency Zizi Kodwa and retained Minerals and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe as an examples of party leaders who were also facing serious allegations of corruption but continues to serve in ministerial positions.
In July, the suspended Secretary General lost his bid to overturn his suspension from the powerful position when the full bench of the South Gauteng High Court, composed of Judges Jody Kollapen, Sharise Weiner and Edwin Molahlehi, unanimously dismissed Magashule’s urgent application.
“The significance of the new evidence is that its acceptance presents a real possibility of destroying the very foundations of the judgment, which is premised on buying the dummy theory that the applicant’s suspension was motivated by some holy crusade to clean the ANC of corruption rather than the reality of factionalism, which, contrary to the belief of the court, actually exists in the ANC according to all the parties,” read Magashule’s heads of argument.
According to the suspended Secretary General the court had failed to explain what happened to the ANC Nasrec conference “category” of corruption, known as using money to influence conference outcomes, and how it disappeared from the list of step-aside offences.
“The national conference specifically identified persons who use money to buy conference outcomes to be subject to the step-aside rule. The court narrowed the rule to the point that such persons would not be subject to the rule. This is inconsistent with the conference resolution itself.
“It is difficult to define any conduct which results in the resolution of the target group of a resolution as anything other than a narrowing and amendment thereof. The court also erred in reaching the unsolicited finding that the suspension of Mr Ramaphosa was invalid. No party sought such a finding. In the absence of a counter application, the court was not permitted to make such a declaration,” Magashule’s papers read.
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