ANC secretary general Ace Magashule looks set to face misconduct charges for defying his suspension order in the wake of this weekend’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting. The NEC — the party’s highest decision making body between conferences — has instructed the ANC’s top six officials to deal with Magashule’s alleged “misconduct” in holding a series of media briefings challenging the NEC after he had been suspended by the party’s national working committee (NWC) earlier this month.
Several sources within the governing party with knowledge of Sunday’s proceedings said the majority of the NEC’s members had endorsed a proposal that the officials institute proceedings against Magashule over his “dysfunctional” behaviour.
Magashule’s suspension letter — issued by deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte on 3 May — warns him against commenting on the step-aside process or his temporary removal from office.
The NEC had also taken issue with Magashule issuing a letter “suspending” President Cyril Ramaphosa and with his series of interviews in the media ahead of — and during — this weekend’s meeting.
One source said that during discussion on reports on the step-aside process, presented on Sunday evening, agreement was reached that Magashule’s behaviour had brought the party into disrepute.
“The NEC felt the party officials should deal with the matter of the SG’s [secretary general’s] misconduct. It was seen as being dysfunctional,” the source said.
Should Magashule be charged and found guilty of misconduct by the party’s disciplinary committee, this could result in his expulsion.
This despite earlier attempts by his supporters to sway the discussion towards broadening the list of those to step aside to include leaders who faced corruption allegations but had not been charged, among them Ramaphosa.
NEC member Malusi Gigaba, in a leaked audio recording, appealed to the party’s integrity commission to “restrain” itself and appealed to the meeting to ensure that individuals were not targeted in the step-aside process.
The meeting is set to end on Monday.