/ 7 July 2023

Like Banyana Banyana, Ace Magashule boots people under the bus

Fifa Women's World Cup 2023: Banyana Banyana Announcement Press Conference
Retreat: Safa boss Danny Jordaan shifted from threatening to kick out Banyana players to promises of pay. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images


It’s early, but affidavits are flying.

Ace Magashule, who left the ANC on a free transfer — politically speaking — last month,

has turned on his former comrades at Luthuli House, who are attempting to avoid paying a R105 million election debt from 2019 — and having the party headquarters attached

— so the affidavits are flying fast.

Almost as fast as the promises to actually pay Banyana Banyana squad members their Fifa incentives for the World Cup flew from the lips of South African Football Association

(Safa) boss Danny Jordaan, once the players had — rightly — gone on strike and thrown him and his greedy cohort under the bus.

By Wednesday Jordaan’s threats of expelling the players had morphed into commitments to pay — along with a R6 million intervention from the Motsepe Foundation — and a choreographed presser to try to save face.

It was pretty clear from the body language of the players and coaching staff present that they are tired of hearing from Danny that the cheque is in the post and would only believe

the Safa hierarchy when they got the ping from their bank.

One can’t blame them.

The team have made it clear that they’re united, not scared to down tools and take things public, so Safa can expect another revolt if they plan to renege on the promise to pay once the TV cameras are focused elsewhere.

I wouldn’t if I were them.

From a broader perspective, Jordaan and Safa have just discovered what happens if you try to come between ama2000 and what’s theirs.

The $30 000 per player from Fifa must have been looking like a lovely Christmas bonus for the Safa elite —another sweetener for “doing a good job” at the expense of the players — but the 2000s were having none of it.

It’s a thing of great beauty, actually, how Banyana straightened Safa out and got their money, despite all the threats, bullying and silver tongued deviling.


Perhaps their generation will do the same at the polls next year.

Ace, like Banyana, is in a throwing-under-the-bus mood. Expulsion, like non-payment, will do that.

Ace has hurled the party’s secretary general, Fikile Mbalula, and deputy president Paul Mashatile under the wheels of Putco’s finest with his affidavit backing Ezulweni Investments’ claim against the party.

Magashule was still the ANC secretary general at the time the contract with Ezulweni for 30 000 PVC banners with Cyril Ramaphosa’s head on them was concluded on the eve of

the 2019 general elections.

The ANC hasn’t paid Ezulweni, despite winning the election, so the company has gone to court and secured an order against the party, along with two writs of execution to allow it to seize assets if the party doesn’t have cash.

Ace knows where the bodies are buried — metaphorically speaking — at Luthuli House and appears to not to be shy when it comes to pointing them out, now that he’s been

shown the door for refusing to apologise for suspending Ramaphosa for suspending him.

Magashule has thrown his weight behind the bid by Ezulweni to seize Mbalula’s signed Beyoncé memorabilia and K-Ci & JoJo posters — along with Luthuli — in lieu of R102 million with interest has placed him and Mashatile (then the ANC treasurer general) at the scene of the crime.

The party is disputing the contract, and crying fraud, so Ezulweni has brought in a forensic expert — and Ace — to establish that Mbalula, Mashatile and Ramaphosa knew about the contract.

The matter is heading for the supreme court of appeal, where the ANC wants to introduce new evidence that it said it didn’t have in 2019, or that it didn’t know it had, or something along those lines.

It’s an ugly, sordid mess, and most definitely not the kind of pre-season Mbalula and the ANC would have wanted ahead of the 2024 elections.

It’s not particularly good news for Mashatile either, given that his bodyguard detail got caught on camera kicking their fellow citizens unconscious on the side of the N1 in broad

daylight, on top of rumours of an impending “send nudes” drama.

It’s not just the threat of liquidation, or the continual airing of the party’s dirty linen, which is bound to get dirtier the closer we get to the elections, that will be giving the ANC sleepless nights going into its elections campaign.

Who is going to give the party credit facilities for its banners and T-shirts, its rallies and logistics, for the 2024 national and provincial election campaign, knowing that they still haven’t coughed up for 2019, when they actually won the election?

I certainly wouldn’t.