Lungisa defends Magashule after latest calls for him to step aside

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Jabu Kumalo

Calls for Magashule to step aside were amplified when the integrity commission recommended that he take leave from office or face suspension.

Embattled former ANC Youth League deputy president and former councillor Andile Lungisa has hit back at national executive committee (NEC) members,  and Mondli Gungubele, following their calls for ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to step aside.

The public utterances come before the NEC’s scheduled meeting this weekend, where it is expected to discuss a resolution that those implicated in wrongdoing should step aside.

The NEC will hold its annual lekgotla, coupled with an ordinary NEC meeting, to map out its plans for the year before President Cyril Ramaphosa’s delivery of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February.

The two party leaders, who are known Ramaphosa allies, made public statements declaring that Magashule should “do the right thing”.

READ MORE: ANC’s integrity commission recommends that Magashule ‘step aside’

Speaking to News24’s sister publication City Press, Mabuyane disputed claims of a politically orchestrated attack against Magashule, adding that someone in the position of secretary-general deals with issues that are tabulated and implemented.

Gungubele, the former deputy finance minister, spoke to EWN and expressed disappointment that Magashule had not yet stepped aside.

Calls for Magashule to step aside were amplified when the integrity commission recommended that he take leave from office or face suspension.

Lungisa, a Magashule ally in the Eastern Cape, has taken issue with the statements.

Speaking to News24, Lungisa lashed out at the two NEC members, saying that they should rather raise their issues internally.

“If, as ordinary members of the ANC, we need to remove elected leaders, they will be part of that list that needs to be removed.”

Lungisa added that Gungubele had no authority to call for an elected member to step aside due to allegations that were made during his tenure as the deputy finance minister, of misconduct at the PIC.

A letter to the top six and the integrity commission has also emerged after Mabuyane’s statements – from an ANC branch member calling for him to be investigated.

ALSO READ: ANC in quandary on how to deal with Ace

The letter refers to allegations which were later investigated by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, relating to claims of improper conduct.

The allegations against Mabuyane were first reported by Mail & Guardian after an ANC businessman, Lonwabo Bam, alleged that an invoice was sent to his company for renovations at Mabuyane’s house.

Bam claimed that he was paid by the Mbizana Local Municipality to the tune of R1.1 million for work he did not do, which was facilitated by ANC Eastern Cape treasurer Babalo Madikizela to pay for renovations to Mabuyane’s house to the value of R450 000.

Mabuyane explained to the provincial integrity commission that he asked Madikizela for a loan.

Mabuyane was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the provincial commission.

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