Sunday 9 May 2021


President Cyril Ramaphosa has come to the defence of ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, saying she was mandated by the party’s national working committee to issue a suspension letter against Ace Magashule.

Magashule was suspended as secretary-general this week after he failed to step aside, in accordance with the party’s new rules, while he is still dealing with his alleged corruption case.

TimesLIVE understands Ramaphosa on Saturday told the national executive committee that Duarte’s actions were mandated by the NWC which sat on Monday this week.

“The president said the national working committee, as it is empowered to do in terms of rule 13 of the ANC constitution, decided on May 3 ... to give effect to the decision of the NEC and requested the deputy secretary-general to give effect to the decision of the NEC on stepping aside,” said a source.

TimesLIVE understands that Ramaphosa said this in his political overview, which is usually delivered at the beginning of the NEC meeting.

“He said it is therefore incorrect to portray the proper execution of administrative procedures as being unusual or malicious. This is a difficult period for our organisation and it is in times of difficulty that we must unite,” added the source.

The much-anticipated meeting started in dramatic fashion after Magashule was kicked out of the meeting, which is being held virtually.

TimesLIVE reported earlier that from the outset, some members charged that Magashule’s presence rendered the meeting “not properly constituted” and called for his exclusion.

Ramaphosa is said to have told the meeting that the party’s reluctance to decisively address corruption in the ANC has caused it immeasurable damage.

“He said various surveys both internal and external, attribute our loss of electoral support to the perception that ANC members are corrupt,” the source said.

The source said Ramaphosa told the meeting that some of its members are accused of being active participants in state capture and were also beneficiaries.

Ramaphosa is said to have also defended the party’s policy of cadre deployment in a similar fashion to what he did during his appearance at the state capture commission.

“He said where mistakes are committed or malfeasance occurs [in cadre deployment], we will act quickly to correct it,” said the source.



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