THE relationship between President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has deteriorated into an open conflict, with the latter said to be unhappy about being ‘micromanaged’ and ‘supervised’.
The conflict between Ramaphosa and Magashule was laid bare last weekend during the ANC National Executive Committee virtual meeting when Magashule said that he will not be managed.
Magashule has flaunted his credentials and said that he been part of the ANC’s NEC member since 1992.
Magashule is angry because Ramaphosa of decision to depart from tradition by usurping the NEC meeting opening and closing remarks and public communication of deliberations.
Magashule is also angry because now he addresses the public a day after Ramaphosa has closed the meeting.
Magashule has accused Ramaphosa of removing the clause that was adopted in 2012 about vote buying from the party’s constitutional texts, but Ramaphosa said that he will respect the rule of law and the courts.
According to City Press, Magashule supporters are pushing for the reinstatement of the clause in order to deal with Ramaphosa’s 2017 presidential campaign.
Ramaphosa has struggled to assert his authority over the ANC since winning its presidency by a narrow margin in late 2017, with Magashule at the forefront of a group of Radical Economic Transformation (RET) forces who’ve continually undermined his authority.
The president’s supporters want Magashule to “step aside” from his position pending the outcome of his corruption case.
The allegations against Magashule has deepened fault-lines within the ANC with his supporters saying Ramaphosa must also be charged in connection with the funding of his presidential election campaign in 2017.
The NEC’s subcommittee on constitutional and legal affairs, chaired by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, is looking into the matter.
Magashule has denied the corruption charges.
However, if he were to vacate his post, it would be seen as a victory for Ramaphosa, who has taken a tougher stance on corruption since becoming party leader in December 2017.
The allegations against Magashule relate to a contract to audit homes with asbestos roofs when he was premier of the Free State province.
The NEC resolved in August last year that party officials charged with corruption should immediately take leave while allegations against them are investigated, but Magashule is yet to do so.
(Source: INSIDE POLITICS)