Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing suspended African National Congress (ANC) Secretary- General, Ace Magashule, says it was unconstitutional of the ANC to suspend Magashule, not only from his position, but from the party as well, including non-participation in party activities.

He has told the High Court in Johannesburg that Magashule has a constitutional right to associate with any political party in the country, including the ANC.

Magashule ran to this court, seeking that his suspension be reversed. He became one of the first casualties of the ANC 2017 elective conference resolution, which says any member of the ANC alleged to be involved in corruption, must “step-aside” from their positions.

The National Working Committee of the ANC then decided that those who refuse to step-aside will be suspended from the party, which included Magashule. But advocate Mpofu says that is against the law, because he can’t be banned from participating in party activities.

“It guarantees freedom to make political choices and once a choice is made on a political party, the section safeguards a members’ participation in the activities of the party concerned. In this case the appetence and the members of the ANC enjoy constitutional guarantee that entitles them to participate in its activities,” says Mpofu.

Magashule supporter weighs in on his court challenge:

While the matter is being conducted virtually, Magashule’s supporters turned up in court.

Among them was Carl Niehaus, the Spokesperson of the Umkhonto WesiZwe Military Veterans.

He says this debacle within the ANC is factional, for it is targeted at certain individuals.

“The National Working Committee of the ANC had no right to institute the suspension against comrade Ace Magashule. So we hope that this court hearing of today and tomorrow will help clarify the situation and will be able to contribute to a different approach which is to be more inclusive which more away from factionalism and individual targeting and will allow comrade Ace Magashule to return to his position, his rightful position to which he had been democratically elected,” says Niehaus.

Ace Magashule takes ANC to court: 

 

Magashule is among eight people and five companies that face multiple charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering relating to the Free State multimillion-rand asbestos roofing audit contract.

The state alleges that between June 2015 and January 2016, Magashule either received or benefitted from unlawful payments of more than R1 million from the late Diamond Hill Trading director, Phikolomzi “Igo” Mpambani.