Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Magashule files court papers against Ramaphosa, ANC

Ace Magashule has filed papers in the high court in Johannesburg on an urgent basis, asking that it strike down the ANC’s step-aside rule as unlawful, along with his suspension as the secretary general of the ruling party, and warning that the crisis in the party could shake the country.

He is also asking that the letter of suspension he served on President Cyril Ramaphosa on May 5 be declared “valid and effective until lawfully nullified”. 

Third, he is seeking a declaration that the instruction issued by Ramaphosa and ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, that he apologise for sending the letter to the president, be declared unlawful and unenforceable.

Magashule wants the court to lift his suspension as secretary general and restore all his rights in the organisation that he held until 5 May, the date when the letter of suspension was sent to him by Duarte, though it was dated two days earlier.

The papers give Ramaphosa, Duarte and the ANC until 2pm today (14 May) to notify Magashule’s lawyers whether they intend to oppose the application, and until  20 May to file their answering affidavits.

Magashule listed the ANC as the third respondent in his papers, and signalled he would ask for a cost order if the respondents chose to oppose the relief he is seeking.

In his founding affidavit, he said his rights as a member of the ANC, and in terms of the party’s constitution and that of the country, have been breached by his suspension.

He said the outcome of the application would “have a huge and profound impact on the public interest going right up to the highest office in the ruling party and the state”.

He further ventured that his battle against the respondents was not a mundane organisational disagreement but a crisis that will shake the country.

“Upon reflection, and bearing in mind the position of the ANC as the custodian of the state and ruling party for 27 years since the advent of democracy in South Africa, it will be clearer that the attendant crisis in the ANC spells a crisis for all South Africans, whether or not they support or vote for the ANC.”

The court application comes after he was excluded from a meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee and ordered to apologise for retaliating to his own suspension with a letter sent unilaterally to Ramaphosa informing the president that he was suspended as the leader of the party.

He has refused to apologise, placing him at risk of expulsion from the party.

In his affidavit, he says that he has “exhausted all internal remedies” in his bid to retain his standing  in the party.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Basic web lessons for South Africa: Government hacks point to...

Recent cyberattacks at the department of justice and the space agency highlight the extent of our naïveté

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

More top stories

Sisters pave the way with ecobricks

The durable bricks are made from 30% recycled plastic, some of which they collect from a network of 50 waste pickers

If the inflation-driving supply strain in the US lasts, it...

In South Africa, a strong trade surplus, buoyed by robust commodity prices, will cushion our economy against pressure arising from US policy

Farmers squeezed by big retailers

It may be beneficial for consumers when supermarkets push to get the lowest price from suppliers, but it can harm the farmers

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…