- Advocates for the suspended secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) and the party's President Cyril Ramaphosa exchanged blows in the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday
- Magashule's legal team argued that the secretary-general is the target of an unconstitutional step-aside resolution imposed by the ruling party
- These claims were quickly refuted by Wim Trengrove, the advocate representing Ramaphosa and the ANC in the case
Magashule wants the court to nullify his suspension as well as the step-aside resolution imposed by the ruling party.
As scenes played out on Friday – day 2 of the hearing – Wim Trengove, the advocate representing President Cyril Ramaphosa in the case, dismissed claims that Magashule is being targeted by the party's step-aside resolution.
According to reports, advocate Mahlape Sello, on behalf of the suspended secretary-general, argued that the step-aside rule seeks to target certain individuals in the party. He said that this is unconstitutional.
"The party did an audit of everybody in the provinces who are liable to step-aside and failed to do so and then invoke the step-aside rule against those very many prominent people," said Trengrove.
Suspended Magashule not performing his duties is in bad practice
The court further heard that Magashule's rights have been infringed as he is not performing his duties, which among a host of duties, included not speaking on or behalf of the organisation, as well as mobilising across the party's structures.
Advocate Dali Mpofu, who is representing Magashule, told the presiding officer Judge Jody Kollapen that his client's ban from participating in any party activities was a flat out indication of unconstitutional practice by the ruling party.
Magashule garners staunch support as he takes the ANC to court
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, per an earlier Briefly News report. Magashule is, however, challenging his suspension on the basis that his deputy, Jessie Duarte, had no authority to sign the letter of suspension issued to him in May.
In a firm challenge, Magashule is also lambasting the ruling party's constitution, saying that it is not higher than South Africa’s constitution, which unequivocally states that one is "innocent until proven guilty."
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