Ace Magashule. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ace Magashule. Picture: SUPPLIED

The ANC has pledged its full backing for President Cyril Ramaphosa and has dismissed reports of a plot by a party faction to oust him as fabricated.

“We are a collective, united leadership,” ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday after a two-day meeting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC). “We don’t know what the papers are talking about.”

A report on Monday in the Citizen newspaper cited unidentified people as saying Magashule was leading a campaign to discredit Ramaphosa over economic policies that his opponents argue are supplanting the ANC’s pro-poor stance. The president’s adversaries want him replaced by his deputy, David Mabuza, with either Magashule or water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu as second in command, the newspaper reported.

There have been several reports of plots to topple the president since he won control of the ANC by a razor-thin margin in late 2017, but there’s been no concrete evidence that his authority is under immediate threat.

While some of the reports have speculated that a bid to remove Ramaphosa could materialise when 3,000 ANC members convene for the party’s national general council in late June, Magashule said the gathering wasn’t an elective conference and its purpose was to review whether policy adjustments were necessary.

“It’s not about removal of President Ramaphosa or the secretary-general,” Magashule said. “I think that is the wish of some people to divide and entrench division in the ANC. Collectively we have agreed that we should never allow that to happen.”