The current power play between the African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa and the Secretary-General Ace Magashule, is widening divisions in the ANC branches of Lejweleputswa in the Free State.

A group that supports the party’s suspended secretary-general has come out guns blazing against the other group behind president Ramaphosa.

The Lejweleputswa district is known to be a stronghold of Magashule’s supporters.

Defiant Ace Magashule goes for Cyril Ramaphosa’s head:

Gloves are off at Lejweleputswa district. Two ANC factions held media briefings on their stance on the step-aside decision.

Some branches have appealed to the National Executive Committee (NEC) to deal with the suspension of Magashule differently. They say Magashule is targeted and is treated unfairly.

Magashule faces charges of fraud and corruption on the more than R255 million asbestos case.

Lejweleputswa ANC convenor, Nkosinjani Speelman says the NEC should reconsider its decision.

“We want to put it very clear, comrades, that the NEC must revisit the decision of suspending the secretary-general. As the region, we don’t agree, but we want the NEC to handle our matters internally within the ANC. We want to say the NEC must reverse that decision. They must go to court to defend the process. We cannot lose the gains of our movement comrades.”

ANCYL National Youth Task Team Member, Itumelelng Ntsube says Magashule remains an ANC secretary-general.

“Comrades, we must not be shy to defend the Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, for what he has done for the revolution. The revolution is at a crossroads because we hear that the secretary-general is suspended and so forth. The Secretary-General Ace Magashule remains the Secretary-General of the ANC. He will come to organise the 55th conference of the ANC and will remain SG up until the next conference.”

Supporters of Magashule’s suspension

Meanwhile, the other faction says it supports the suspension of the ANC secretary-general. It says corruption should be rooted out at all costs to save the organisation.

Cyril Ramaphosa says ANC’s NEC will deal with his letter of “suspension”:

Lejweleputswa ANC Regional Task Team member, Zondani Nofelt, says rogue counter-revolutionary conduct deserves the harshest possible measures.

“The rogue counter-revolutionary conduct is deserving of the harshest-possible measures, in line with the relevant provisions of Rule 25  on the management of organisational discipline of the ANC. In this regard, we in principle, support the leadership of President Ramaphosa in his capacity as our political head and chief directing officer; as well as the NEC, on the step aside and related matters.”

Asked about questions over the legality of their meeting, the group says it won’t be deterred from showing its full support for President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“They are law unto themselves. Let them suspend us, we are here understanding how they are operating. That will not be the first time, they’ve been doing it but failing. The ANC will give direction and clarity of who is wrong and who is right.”

The two groups are calling for the immediate appointment of the Free State ANC Provincial Task Team to pave the way for the local government elections. The Supreme Court of Appeal has declared the Free State Provincial Executive Committee null and void for violating the party’s constitution.

Discussion on the ANC suspension saga: