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ANC suspends more than Ace

Tuesday.

It’s Day 411 of the Covid‑19 national lockdown.

I’m exhausted, mainly as a result of the weekend meeting of the ANC national executive committee.

Organisational discipline, party rules and standards had all clearly been temporarily suspended — along with the party’s secretary general Ace Magashule — for this NEC meeting.

The ANC WhatApp groups — the radical economic transformation (RET) ones in particular — were burning with a mad flurry of leaked recordings from inside the NEC.

The nonstop barrage of recordings was wild; not something that’s ever happened at a meeting of the ANC’s top leadership structure. 

Or any other, for that matter.

Keeping up with the storm of leaks was tough.

It’s also the anniversary of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s famous “When people zol” moment. It’s been a year since Mama — as Dlamini-Zuma was known to the RET faction in 2017 when they were backing her for party president — broke us by rolling an imaginary joint on national television.

It’s been more than a year since President Cyril Ramaphosa gave Dlamini-Zuma the country to run — via the state of national disaster — by making her chair of the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Not bad.

Lose the party presidential race, but still end up running the country, even if it is as the result of a pandemic.

One works with what one has.

It’s a way better deal than being recalled as president, like Thabo Mbeki was after losing out to Jacob Zuma at Polokwane in 2007, or the half a decade in the political cooler Kgalema Motlanthe suffered after coming second to Nxamalala in Mangaung in 2012.

I’d take that.

Like many of my fellow South Africans, I’m craving a family meeting with the head of state. It seems forever since the president updated us on the #Ratherstaypozi situation. 

Granted, Ramaphosa’s been busy, with all the ungovernability within the governing party, but he owes us. 

There are too many new variants of concern and too little tangible progress in South Africa’s vaccine rollout for him to continue leaving the talking up to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize alone for much longer.

Perhaps now that the NEC has met, Ramaphosa will get the family together, tell us when we’re getting vaccinated.

Perhaps.

I suspect Magashule may be feeling even more worn out than me.

The NEC processed Magashule thoroughly: a black, green and gold thumping.

Not only was Magashule bounced from the NEC, but his suspension of Ramaphosa was also suspended, along with himself.

Magashule’s Luthuli House email has been closed down and his key card has been deactivated.  

The whole secretary general will have to sign in at security — like a driver from Nando’s bringing deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte’s whole chicken, two sides and a two-litre Coke — when he appears before the disciplinary committee later in the month.

The processing didn’t end there.

Magashule can’t speak to, on behalf of, or about the ANC for the term of his suspension. Except when he delivers a public apology, with his own mouth, to the party and the rest of us, for trying to suspend the president.

If he doesn’t, a further charge awaits, along with expulsion from the party.

Processed.

Thoroughly Dealt With.

Magashule shouldn’t have gone on a media roadshow ahead of the NEC; or tried to gatecrash the meeting.

Magashule should have appealed; stayed at the pozi.

Told Carl Niehaus to use his own email for writing love letters to the head of state.

Kept quiet.

Five years, comrades.

I wonder if Duarte has done a stocktake of the Luthuli House art collection in the wake of the departure of Magashule and his security detail, or will that, along with the step-aside process, be left up to treasurer general Paul Mashatile?

Perhaps.

The RET forces were quick to respond to Yster’s eviction notice with a 15-member list, headed by Cyril Ramaphosa, of those whom they wanted to remove from the party in response.

Not the tsunami of rage from the ANC rank and file that they have been talking up in a bid to stop the NEC enforcing Ace’s Don’t Come Monday.

Then again, they had to do something.

The RET brigade must hate Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola with a particular passion.

Lamola featured twice on the most-hated list — place 10 and place 13.

Perhaps it’s because the youngster is in charge of two cabinet portfolios that he’s named twice on the RET hit list: kick him out, split the ministry and give the cabinet posts to Tony Yengeni and Bongani Bongo.

Perhaps.

More likely perhaps uDe La Rey just didn’t proofread the list before he hit send.

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Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

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