Zuma advises Ace Magashule to ‘stay resolute’ amid his troubles

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule with Jacob Zuma. Picture: Twitter/Jacob Zuma

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule with Jacob Zuma. Picture: Twitter/Jacob Zuma

The former leader of the ANC would certainly know a thing or two about how to keep going strong amid allegations of corruption.

Former president Jacob Zuma on Friday thanked embattled secretary-general of the ANC Ace Magashule for wishing him on his birthday, and offered him a message of support in return.

Both men have regularly faced accusations of corruption and abuse of power over the years, with a recent book about Magashule’s personal history of alleged corruption and “gangster-like” behaviour hogging the headlines.

When it comes to books critical of Zuma, on the other hand, the number of titles probably fill a few shelves.

While many top leaders in the ANC have been reluctant to make any pronouncements on the allegations that have been hounding Magashule, and which are collected in the book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture, Zuma was more outspoken.

He told Magashule to “stay resolute during these times”.

Earlier, Magashule had shared two photos of himself with Zuma, apparently sharing a mutually enjoyable conversation, captioned with a birthday message.

A fair number of senior ANC leaders on Twitter had not taken their cue from Magashule to similarly wish Zuma on the first day of his 77th year on earth.

Magashule was appointed premier of the Free State after Zuma came to power as South Africa’s president in 2009. He had earlier pointedly been overlooked for the position despite desiring it, an episode examined at length in Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book.

The ANC has done a lot of backtracking on a statement that was released by the party immediately following the release of Gangster State, which dismissed it as the product of “Stratcom” media and lies.

The ANC’s national executive committee last week advised Magashule to deal with the accusations in his personal capacity and keep the ANC out of it.

Magashule has repeatedly said he intends to sue the author and his publishers, Penguin, for alleged defamation.

However, papers are yet to be served.

Zuma also thanked the KZN ANC for wishing him.

(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)

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