Outspoken ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Bheki Cele has slammed the governing party’s secretary-general‚ Ace Magashule‚ for saying that the newly-elected ANC leadership led by Cyril Ramaphosa will be in power for five years.
“You can’t be SG [secretary-general] and go to a platform and say that people who have been elected will be there for five years. You need to tell us who are you working for.
“It’s not even two months [since the new leadership was elected] and you are already giving us five years. You can’t do that without being sent by someone who sent you to destroy the ANC,” Cele said on Saturday while addressing an ANC rally in Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal to celebrate the ANC’s 106th anniversary, according to a TimesLIVE report.
He was responding to statements made by Magashule last Sunday while addressing ANC members sympathetic to President Jacob Zuma in Pietermaritzburg.
Magashule was quoted as saying to ANC members at the time: “Stay focused, it is just a matter of five years. It’s a matter of five years. Conference happens after five years. Mayibuya i-ANC esiyaziyo [when the ANC that we know returns]. It’s a matter of five years comrades. So let’s work hard.”
Cele slated the secretary-general, saying the ANC will defend its new leadership under Ramaphosa.
“We want this ANC to live forever and that’s why we will defend the leadership that has been elected. Who are you?
“You attack the body that you have been elected to lead. We promise that five years is going to finish and if there is someone who has to leave‚ it’s you,” he said.
Cele – who is also the deputy minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet – also accused Magashule of destroying the ANC, according to the report.
He lashed out at Magashule for saying the ANC introduced him to the controversial Gupta family, close friends of Zuma accused of state capture.
“There is one who said he was introduced by the ANC to the Guptas and he happened to be the SG. I have never met a person who was introduced to the Guptas by the ANC. Ace Magashule says he was introduced by the ANC to the Guptas.
“I see why we are going to have a problem. And the problem is going to be that the Guptas have a stranglehold on us. So there is one who was taken on a tray to the Guptas but he does not say what his programme is but now we are beginning to suspect that his programme is to destroy the ANC‚” said Cele.