Magashule is confident about his Free State support

by Thys Khiba
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Ace Magashule is confident that the province of Free State is already in the bag for his new political party named ACT. During the launch of his new political party, the African Congress for Transformation (ACT) on Wednesday,

Ace Magashule 

Thys Khiba – Former African National Congress (ANC) secretary general and former Free State Premier Ace Magashule is confident that the province of Free State is already in the bag for his new political party named ACT.

During the launch of his new political party, the African Congress for Transformation (ACT) on Wednesday, Magashule indicated that getting support from the Free State and Gauteng provinces won’t be a challenge for his party.

“All provinces, Free State is gone, it is in the bag,” said Magashule.

Magashule was responding to a question relating to next year’s provincial and national elections.

The new party that was launched at Sakhumzi Restaurant on Wednesday in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, includes former members of the ANC and former controversial Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza.

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Ace Magashule

The ACT is expected to be present in all the country’s nine provinces. The party will host its first conference in October to elect its collective leadership and present its manifesto ahead of next year’s polls.

Magashule criticised the ANC and suggested that the party’s current crop of leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa are selling state-owned enterprises to the highest bidder and mismanaging the country.

Led as the Premier in the Free State, from 2009 to 2018, Magashule said his party will rise and fall on behalf of his supporters.

We are a new political party, and we are all about the people. We’re a people’s party because we are about people, and we will rise and fall on behalf of the people.”

Magashule was suspended from the ANC in December and subsequently expelled in June this year.

“There has been a bitter struggle inside the ANC for its soul. There have been contradictions over the years for the hegemony of progressive ideas within the ANC.

“Sadly, we’ve seen the oldest [political] organisation [in Africa] moving fast towards the right and abandoning its centre-left position. The struggle for the soul of the ANC has witnessed the systematic marginalisation of forces to the left,” said Magashule.

While, criticising the ANC for being endorsed by the opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA), Magashule claimed that the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) President Julius Malema was expelled from the ANC for demanding the return of the land.

Chris Hani was killed in cold blood. Julius Malema was expelled for demanding the return of the land and Jacob Zuma was hunted down like a dog for fighting white-monopoly capital.”

Responding to questions that are related to him joining the EFF, Magashule denied that he wanted to join the party of Malema.

“I have never changed my mind; I have never wanted to go to EFF. We have been having engagements with EFF because they are one progressive organisation, which I believe is also representing the aspirations of our people.

“And I think we engaged several times, and we are still engaging, and we will work together,” he said.

The party is expected to work with political parties like EFF and ARETA.

Areta, we agreed that it should be a non-profit organisation, but it took the route that they took, and we have agreed with comrade Carl [President] and comrade Shezi [Secretary General] that we will work together because all of us represent the aspirations of South Africans,” said Magashule.

The African Radical Economic Transformation Alliance (ARETA) President Carl Niehaus has rejected claims made by Magashule that the two parties had an agreement that ARETA will remain as a non-profit organisation (NPO).

“As I have said earlier, I wish my friend and comrade Ace Magashule all the best with his new endeavour.

“However, for the record, what cde. Ace said in his press conference that there was agreement that ARETA would remain an NPO, is not correct,” said Niehaus.

Niehaus confirmed ARETA started as an NPO and later became a registered political party.

While the party was launched on 23 February 2023, Niehaus said: “ARETA is registered both as an NPO and NPC; whether it will eventually also register as a political party lies in the future, and it will depend on what our signed up members and the people of South Africa want. Ultimately it is about what will best serve our objective of forging unity among all progressive forces of the left to achieve the implementation of Radical Economic Transformation (RET).”  

This month ARETA received a letter from IEC Deputy CEO Masego Sheburi to confirm approval of ARETA’s application as a registered political party.

“Please be advised that your application was approved by the Chief Electoral Officer in terms of section 15 of the Electoral Commission Act, 1996 (Act 51 of 1996). The registration of the party will subsequently be published in the government gazettee,” reads the IEC letter.




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