/ 12 June 2023

ANC expels Ace Magashule

Ace Magashule
Ace Magashule. Photo by Mlungisi Louw/Gallo Images/Volksblad

Former ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has been expelled by the governing party after failing to meet the deadline to make representations why the national disciplinary committee (NDC) should not confirm the sanction.

The decision comes days after the announcement by the special investigating unit (SIU) of a probe into the bursary programme run by Magashule’s office during his tenure as Free State premier.

On Monday the ANC issued a statement that the NDC, chaired by Reverend Frank Chikane, had “confirmed the expulsion of comrade Ace Magashule from the ANC”.

According to the statement, Magashule had been given seven days to make representations why the NDC should not expel him over its finding that he had violated several sections of the ANC constitution.

Magashule had been “allowed to show cause why he should not be expelled from the ANC” but “upon the lapse of seven days, the NDC had not received any representations to that effect”.

Magashule, a close ally of former president Jacob Zuma and a leader of the so-called radical economic transformation (RET) faction in the ruling party, was elected as secretary general at its December 2017 elective conference.

He narrowly beat Senzo Mchunu to the position, leading the fightback against President Cyril Ramaphosa after the conference and rallying the RET forces inside the ANC national executive committee with the promise of a leadership change within five years.

However, Magashule was arrested in November 2020 over the Free State asbestos scandal — a case in which he is currently out on bail — and was subsequently suspended by the ANC in March 2021. 

The suspension came after Magashule refused to abide by the ANC’s step-aside rule and temporarily vacate his party position until the completion of his trial and instead issued a suspension letter against Ramaphosa.

The suspension prevented Magashule from contesting the ANC conference in December, with the guilty verdict by the NDC being handed down last month.

Speculation has been rife in recent months that Magashule might launch his own party to contest elections in the Free State, should the ANC follow through with his expulsion.

Magashule had not responded to calls from the Mail & Guardian by the time of writing on Monday.