Lawyers representing suspended African National Congress Secretary-General Ace Magashule have argued that the full bench of the Johannesburg High Court was biased in his matter and they now want the Supreme Court of Appeal to hear the matter.
This came out during Magashule’s appeal application under way before Justice Jody Kollapen. The matter relates to Magashule’s suspension from the ANC, after failing to temporarily step down as per the party’s step aside rule. The rule stipulates that members facing criminal cases should step aside pending the finalisation of their cases.
Magashule’s lawyer Advocate Dali Mpofu said the lower court pre-judged the matter and prejudiced his client.
Magashule also wants the court to uphold his suspension of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president.
The High Court ruled that the ANC was within its right to suspend Magashule after he failed to comply with its step aside rule.
Magashule believes a higher court will come to a different conclusion.
Internal party issues
Last month, Legal expert Sanusha Naidoo said the dismissal of Magashule’s case by the High Court in Johannesburg is a lesson that internal party issues should not involve courts.
Naidoo said the judiciary gets nervous around political cases.
“There is a political connotation to these things. The fact of the matter is the pronouncement that was made around checking to see whether rule 25.70 was legal was justified. It had political connotations. You can’t ignore it and I think that when you start using the courts to fight these political battles then, of course, the court gets nervous and I think in this case the court realised that in the context of what was happening, I mean the entire application has been dismissed.”