- Day one of court proceedings in ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s case against his on party began on Thursday
- Magashule is taking the ANC to court over his suspension by the party for refusing to step aside
- Magashule wants the court to declare his suspension unlawful and declare his suspension of President Cyril Ramaphosa valid
The Johannesburg High Court started proceedings to hear the case of suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule on Thursday.
Magashule wants the court to rule his suspension invalid, unlawful and unconstitutional. He was suspended after refusing to step down from his position as per the “step-aside” resolution of the ANC, which requires members of the party to vacate their positions when facing charges against them.
Magashule faces fraud and corruption charges in relation to the Free State province’s Asbestos project.
Magashule is challenging his suspension on the basis that his deputy Jessie Duarte had no authority to sign his letter of suspension. Secondly, he is challenging the ANC’s constitution, saying that it is not higher than South Africa’s constitution which says “innocent until proven guilty,” according to eNCA.
eNCA reported that a number of ANC party members were at the Johannesburg High Court in support of Ace Magashule.
The High Court first dealt with preliminary issues before beginning proceedings such as applications made by interested parties who wanted to join proceedings and sought to intervene. Their applications were dismissed.
Dali Mpofu, who is Magashule’s senior counsel, told the court that Magashule was not given a chance by the ANC to tell his side of the story or given a hearing before being suspended, according to IOL.
Mpofu said that at the NEC meeting on 8 May, Magashule should have been afforded an opportunity to tell the organisation why he should not be suspended.
”There can be no doubt in anybody’s mind that he was given no hearing by the NEC, which is the body that clearly had to make the final decision,” argued Mpofu.
Magashule also wants the court to uphold his suspension of the president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa until it is nullified by a court of law. He also wants the ANC’s instructions for him to apologise for suspending Ramaphosa to be declared unlawful and invalid.
Magashule will appear in court again on Friday.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule garners support as he takes the ANC to court
Briefly News previously reported that three structures ANC in the Free State, as well as four party members, have applied to the court to intervene on behalf of Magashule.
According to News24, the ANC's Fezile Dabi region, Arthur Pitso branch and the Jomo Marumo branch, Jomo Marumo branch secretary Pule Patrick Nthene as well party member Thabang Lawrence Nkhoke, have made an application in which they ask the court to declare the “step-aside” resolution invalid.
Magashule is taking the ANC to court over his suspension under the step-aside resolution that was enacted at the ANC’s 54th national conference in Nasrec. The resolution states that members who are charged with corruption need to step aside pending legal procedures.
In an interview with SABC News, Magashule stated that he believes the resolution was designed to target him.
“There are many comrades in each and every province who are charged. You take a decision and select Ace and Bongo,” he said.
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