Magashule hits back at Manuel’s attack over Winnie’s Brandfort home

A visibly angry and fiery ANC secretary general Ace Magashule launched a not-so-veiled attack on former finance minister Trevor Manuel in which he accused Manuel of ill-discipline and of weakening the organisation by criticising him in public.

“When you talk about unity of the movement, don’t use memorial services of revolutionaries to attack other leaders. When you don’t attack other leaders, you are not a coward. You are a disciplined member of the movement …,” Magashule said.

Last week Manuel laid into Magashule for failing to restore Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s house in Brandfort where she was banished to by the apartheid regime between 1977 and 1986.

Money was allocated to the Free State government to restore the house as a museum, but years later it still stands derelict. 

Magashule stepped down as premier in March after he was elected secretary general of the party.

Manuel compared the project for the restoration of the Brandfort house to the controversial Estina project in the Free State, which was fast-tracked but which failed to empower the black farmers who were intended beneficiaries.

“This is the same premier who protests the approval for the Estina dairy, totalling some R220-million in two weeks. This is the same former premier whose daughter is a beneficiary of a R130-million housing contract, but now informs us that this minuscule project to restore the house to which our mother was banished has taken 11 years and can’t be done,” Manuel said at a memorial service in Cape Town.

The house has been a focal point since Madikizela-Mandela’s death on April 2.

But Magashule said criticism of other leaders should only be done in closed party meetings.

“Inside internal meetings of the ANC, we talk. We can criticise you but, when I attack and criticise another leader, I am weakening the movement and this is the culture we must understand – we must nurture it,” he said to a crowd that went into a frenzy as he spoke.

Magashule said no individual could be blamed for failing to honour Madikizela-Mandela. Instead the entire ANC should take the blame.

“You can’t blame any leader. In fact, if you have to blame anybody, you must blame the ANC because the ANC is not an organisation of individuals, it’s an organisation of a collective. When any individual fails, it is the organisation that fails.”

He discarded his prepared speech and spoke off the cuff.

Magashule also suggested that the ANC’s tradition was to honour leaders after their passing, as “people change”.

He also warned that the party risked losing the 2019 elections if it failed to rebuild and unite. He decried leaders who thought their positions made them powerful.

“Don’t think you are important and powerful. The only thing powerful is the ANC. You are nothing as an individual. That is why we must respect and renew this organisation,” Magashule said.

He lamented the gatekeeping plaguing the organisation and said it was killing the 106-year-old liberation movement.

Ironically, under his leadership as chairperson in the Free State, at least two provincial elective conferences that re-elected him to the position were nullified by the courts for the sidelining of members at branch level.

The ANC is hosting is official memorial service on Tuesday in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, where Madikizela-Mandela was born.

It is expected to be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa. — News24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Mahlatse Mahlase
Mahlatse Mahlase works from Jozi. Group Editor-IN-Chief EWN : [email protected] Mahlatse Mahlase has over 36181 followers on Twitter.

Related stories


Subscribers only

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

Pandemic hobbles learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

More top stories

Egypt, Seychelles get first jabs

The two countries have rolled out China’s Sinopharm vaccine, but data issues are likely to keep some countries from doing the same

Fashion’s future is bricks and clicks

Lockdown forced reluctant South African clothing retail stores online: although foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores remains important in a mall culture like ours, the secret to success is innovation

What the Biden presidency may mean for Africa

The new US administration has an interest and much expertise in Africa. But given the scale of the priorities the administration faces, Africa must not expect to feature too prominently

Zuma, Zondo play the waiting game

The former president says he will talk once the courts have ruled, but the head of the state capture inquiry appears resigned to letting the clock run out as the commission's deadline nears

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…