10 May 2021
Festering power struggles in South Africa’s ruling party erupted when President Ramaphosa was publicly challenged by his most influential rival.
Ace Magashule responded by saying he would not budge as secretary-general and was instead invoking his own powers to suspend Ramaphosa as leader of the African National Congress (ANC).
The party’s move against Magashule, 61, is seen as the biggest political win for the president, even a turning point for the ANC, in a fight against corruption that has yielded scant results.
Magashule was told in a letter that it would be “in the best interest of the organisation” to step aside after being charged with embezzling public funds while he was premier of Free State province. He had ignored a 30-day ultimatum for all ANC members officially accused of corruption to surrender their posts voluntarily.
Magashule said he was “appealing this unconstitutional suspension” and would stay in post until an appeal was heard. In a further outburst, he said he was invoking powers vested in him as the ANC’s secretary-general to “summarily” suspend Ramaphosa as leader.
By Jane Flanagan, The Times, 7 May 2021
Read more at The Times
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