Editor's note: Yesterday saw the launch of Pieter-Louis Myburgh's 'Gangster State: Unraveling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture'. The event had been disrupted by supporters of the ANC Secretary General. Pieter du Toit, a journalist for News24, has penned an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, asking if his ANC is the same party as those who stand behind Magashule.
Pieter du Toit feels that yesterday marked a new low for the ANC, with the 'cowardly' attack on Myburgh and Exclusive Books representing "an assault on freedom of speech, the rule of law and on democracy itself".
Du Toit felt that the ANCYL in the Free State's party-sanctioned event to burn copies of the book at a dump-site bears resemblance to a fascist state, not a democracy.
Whose party is it anyway?
The journalist penned that Ramaphosa would most likely be disgusted by the debacle and agree that burning books is nothing less than 'moronic'.
He argued that the ANC has instead become Magashule's party, with the attack being a test for Ramaphosa's leadership:
"You must take a public stand if your message of ethical leadership is to be believed. This is what good leaders do; when order in society is challenged by violence, backwardness and criminality, they rely on principle and light the way. And they do this for the greater good of the country, not in the narrow interests of only one section."
Myburgh's book is not a 'thumb-suck'
Du Toit is adamant that the book is a meticulous record of Ace's various 'irregular' - and possibly illegal - dealings, spanning more than a decade.
The journalist argues that the novel utilised prominent sources, testifying how Magashule had established a network to help finance his 'grip on power'.
"And even beyond the detailed allegations in Myburgh's book, look at the man's record in government. My colleagues, Sarah Evans and Azarrah Karrim, trawled through a decade's worth of reports by the auditor-general and Statistics South Africa. Governance – financial and otherwise – in the Free State is in a shambles."
What is Magashule so afraid of?
The journalist is also convinced that the reaction to the release has signalled that there is a fire to go along with the smoke.
Du Toit argues that, if Ace was convinced of his innocence, he would have opted to brush off or sue the author, not encourage Nazi-style tactics to carry out attacks on the launch.
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Take action or face the inevitable
The journalist asked Ramaphosa if Magashule is indeed the kind of man he wants to represent his party, especially as he embarks on his mission to renew confidence in the integrity of the ANC.
Du Toit argueed that, although Ace is a formidable opponent, Ramaphosa has options to dislodge him, urging him to do so before the damage to the party is irreparable.
"Mister President, your party gave us grand corruption, state capture and impunity. If you tolerate gangsters and thugs, if you fail to provide visible leadership in times where authors are attacked and book-burnings are glorified, then you will be nothing but an extension of the nine lost years that you spoke of in Davos."
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Briefly.co.za.
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