Ace Magashule. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALON SKUY
Ace Magashule. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALON SKUY

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has served the party with court papers in a bid to have his suspension declared unlawful. 

In the court papers, Magashule has approached the South Gauteng High Court on an urgent basis, arguing that his suspension, effected by the ANC last week, was unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. He also wants the court to declare unconstitutional the ANC’s entire step-aside rule, which formed the basis of his suspension.

The rule, adopted by the ANC’s national executive committee and implemented by its national working committee (NWC), declares that those facing corruption or criminal charges have to voluntarily step aside from their position. Such members may be suspended should they fail to step down voluntarily.

The NWC last week served Magashule with a suspension letter for failing to step aside voluntarily. Magashule is facing a raft of charges, including corruption, fraud and racketeering related to a R250m asbestos eradication tender that was awarded in the Free State during his time as the premier.

He is a co-accused in a long list of accused people, including business-person Edwin Sodi, who won the tender with his now-deceased partner Ignatius “Igo” Mpambani. Magashule argues in the court papers that rule 27.5 of the ANC’s constitution, which says those charged with corruption or criminal charges must step aside from their positions, failing which they be suspended, undermines the principle of innocent until proven guilty. He wants the rule in the ANC’s constitution to also be declared unlawful, unconstitutional, invalid, and null and void.

In addition, Magashule has asked the court to uphold the retaliatory suspension he effected on President Cyril Ramaphosa. Magashule will be represented by Mabuza Attorneys, who recently withdrew as former president Jacob Zuma’s legal representative in his corruption trial.

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