ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FANI MAHUNTSI
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FANI MAHUNTSI

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule suffered a major defeat this week when the party’s top leaders snubbed his public announcement that the ANC’s January 8 birthday rally will be held in his home ground of Bloemfontein, the Free State.

In November, Magashule unilaterally made the announcement from the doorsteps of the Bloemfontein court, after an appearance on 21 charges of corruption.

ANC insiders had indicated that hosting the rally on home ground would have allowed Magashule to show his individual force, as the event would have been packed with his supporters, who were likely to use the opportunity to embarrass ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and other opponents of Magashule’s faction.

“The ANC was formed here in Mangaung,” shouted Magashule outside the court. “It’s not my decision, it’s the decision of the national working committee (NWC) on behalf of the national executive committee (NEC). The following year we will go to Limpopo,” Magashule said.

The announcement was seen as Magashule attempting to force the NEC’s hand. At the time, it was only a proposal from the NWC to the NEC that the party should consider the Free State as the host province. NWC insiders at the time said that there was no such decision and that Magashule had jumped the gun.

But after intense discussions at the three-day meeting that ended on Tuesday, the ANC NEC, its highest decision-making body between national conferences, has resolved to ignore Magashule’s unsanctioned announcement.

The NEC has opted to stick with the party’s system of rotating its birthday bash from province to province and declared that it is due to be held in Limpopo in January 2021.

“The NEC notes the recommendation on the January 8 celebration, presented by the head of organisation, comrade Nomvula Mokonyane, and resolved that it be held in Limpopo as per the practice of rotation,” the ANC NEC said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear how the celebrations would be hosted, given the Covid-19 restrictions. The NEC statement said the celebrations would reach out to people across the country “in a manner that is in line with the Covid-19 disaster regulations”.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.