Political analyst and Professor Susan Booysen says suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule’s power and operating space have started to shrink.

The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) has resolved that action should be taken against Magashule for being defiant.

It has instructed him to publicly apologise to ANC structures or face disciplinary procedures.

This comes after Magashule wrote a letter suspending party president Cyril Ramaphosa in retaliation for his own suspension earlier this month.

Magashule was suspended for refusing to step aside. He is facing fraud and corruption charges relating to the multimillion-rand asbestos project while he was Premier in the Free State.

The ANC step aside resolution stipulates that all members who are charged with serious crimes including corruption should step aside until their court cases are finalised.

Professor Booysens says Magashule has shot himself in the foot.

“We have not seen that in the ANC for quite a long time. The situation has been created very destructively by Magashule and his people. They have been forging factionalism in the extreme to help secure their political futures. Remember that Magashule was associated with some political party and was plotting along with Zuma and other ANC leaders.”

Video: ANC president Ramaphosa updates on the NEC Meeting outcomes: