Magashule exploring legal options over 'Gangster State' allegations

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. (Reuters/Rogan Ward)

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. (Reuters/Rogan Ward)

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is exploring his legal options over an explosive new book which sheds light on his alleged corrupt reign over the Free State province in the past decade.

City Press and the Sunday Times reported on the revelations in the book, prompting a statement from the ANC denouncing its contents as “fake news”.

Magashule told journalists on Monday that he could not comment on the allegations as he was exploring his legal options regarding the allegations in the book.

According to City Press, the book — Gangster State, written by journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh — details secret visits to Saxonwold, a brown envelope full of cash from Atul Gupta, links by Magashule to a businessmen killed in Sandton after a controversial tender from the Free State government and alleged cattle theft.

Magashule was briefing journalists on the agenda of a special national executive committee meeting which kicked off on Monday.

His conduct regarding the ANCs candidate lists is set to come under scrutiny at the meeting.

“We decided we need to brief the NEC on the update on the list because we had different voices out there. People thinking that the list has been changed,” he said.

“There is no list that was changed. The list presented to the [Electoral Commission of South Africa] IEC is the list presented to the extended NWC [national working committee] where provinces were present on the 11th before the 13th when we went to register the list.”

Allegations that Magashule had changed the list were circulating on WhatsApp groups, which led to him clashing with State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, who had apparently shared the message.

READ MORE: ‘This matter was resolved’ — ANC on Letsatsi-Duba, Magashule dispute

Magashule did not respond directly when asked whether the ANC lists could still be changed.

“Let’s wait until the discussions take place and concluded we can still comment about these issues tomorrow,” he said.

He however said the lists were fully compliant with the law.

“I think what we should acclimatise ourselves with is the law. What does the law say. The law prohibits people with criminal records of more than 12 months an option of a fine and all that. The law will take its place and the ANC will respect the constitution and the Electoral Act. We are sticking within the Electoral Act, ” he said.

The Mail & Guardian on Friday reported that the ANC was set to discuss giving its integrity commission teeth in order to see individuals who could taint the image of the party removed from the list. However, the IEC has said that parties are not permitted to change their lists after its submission.

READ MORE: Mbalula says ANC lists can still change

The ANC has come under fire from even its own stalwarts and senior former leaders for packing its lists with individuals implicated in allegations of corruption, state capture and bribery. This includes Malusi Gigaba, Nomvula Mokonyane and Mosebenzi Zwane.

The special national executive committee meeting sits for one day and the outcomes will be announced later this week. 

Natasha Marrian

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