Today is Ace Magashule’s last day as the main man at Luthuli House and Supra Mahumapelo has been slapped with a five-year suspension from the party.
With the major protagonists in the ANC’s Zuma faction in danger of imminent political isolation and former president Jacob Zuma himself reluctantly out of the political stage, the future of this camp hangs in the balance.
Previously strongest and most vocal of the two ANC factions since their victory at Polokwane in 2007, this group is facing a leaderless future after Zuma’s main allies, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and Supra Mahumapelo, were lined up for life in political wilderness.
Today is Magashule’s last day as the main man at Luthuli House. Today, he is expected to pack his bags and leave as it’s the deadline for him and others facing corruption and other charges to step aside as per the ANC national executive committee (NEC) order.
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Mahumapelo, former North West ANC strongman and ex-premier, has been slapped with a five-year suspension from the party.
Mahumapelo, who vowed to appeal his suspension, has been found guilty of sowing divisions within the ANC by the interim provincial committee (IPC).
The IPC accused Mahumapelo and ANC Women’s League provincial secretary Bitsa Lekonyane of running a parallel rally of a factional structure only metres from the officially convened provincial ANC Siyanqoba rally during the recent by-elections in the North West. Their memberships were suspended for five years.
Further, Mahumapelo was accused of telling Kgotso Khumalo, mayor of JB Marks municipality, to refuse to step aside in line with the IPC recommendation.
Magashule’s fate will be determined by the outcome of his trial, in which he is charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering.
He may not come back, especially if found guilty in court. In their absence, Magashule and Mahumapelo will miss out on mobilising their supporters during the all-important ANC national general council next month and the local government elections scheduled for 27 October.
Initially, they targeted the two events to organise a no-confidence rebellion against President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC NEC for allegedly failing to implement Nasrec resolutions.
This is a blow for the Zuma camp, which is trying to find a replacement for Zuma, who operated from the sidelines, following his recall by the ANC in 2018. Since Magashule was elected at Nasrec, Zuma followers looked to him to take over as their moral leader.
But, nearly four years down the line, Magashule is in trouble with the law and with his party.