Ace must be arrested, he must go and face the law: EFF

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Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) Treasurer-General Omphile Maotwe says the Secretary-General of the African National Congress (ANC) Ace Magashule must face the music. This is after the Hawks confirmed the issuing of a warrant for Magashule’s arrest.

Magashule’s imminent arrest relates to his alleged involvement in the irregular awarding of the R255 million asbestos contract while he was the premier in the Free State. He is expected to hand himself over to the police on Friday morning before his appearance at the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.

Maotwe says the law must take its course.

“He must be arrested. He must go and face the law and the law must take its course. Comrade Ace will be appearing on Friday, and the law must take its course. No one is above the law. All of us, we are subjected to the law of this country. And he’s not immune to that.”

Political analyst Professor Andre Duvenage says the imminent arrest of Magashule reveals divisions within the governing party on how to handle the situation. The ANC has said Magashule will continue his duties while the case proceeds and it will seek legal counsel on the issue of members stepping aside from their duties when charged.

Duvenage says Magashule’s imminent arrest comes at a critical time for the ANC as the country is holding by-elections.

“Although Magashule is facing criminal charges. He will remain the party’s secretary-general until the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) decides otherwise. In August this year, the NEC approved President Cyril Ramaphosa’s motion to have party members who are facing charges of corruption to step aside until the conclusion of investigations into their misconduct to protect the image of the organisation. But this has since proved to be difficult to enforce, as some members have invoked the constitution which says, one is innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.”

Magashule gets to keep his job pending the outcome of his arrest warrant:

Some of them have argued that the NEC resolution can’t be above the supreme law of the land. And now the NEC cannot proceed with this resolution to mitigate its conflict with the country’s constitution. For now, this simply means those who are charged wrongdoing, including Magashule, will stay on until the NEC decides on the matter as ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte elaborates.

“On the issue of the NEC decision on stepping aside, the NEC has reviewed that decision and has taken a view that we need to take a serious legal counsel based on the fact that some comrades were initially charged and then had to vacate their positions and court actions were then withdrawn from them after they had already been asked to vacate senior positions in the movement. The next NEC will discuss the matter.”

 ANC virtually briefs media on developments within the party: