South Africa News

Ace Magashule supporters looking at elections partnership with Zweli Mkhize

The supporters of the suspended ANC secretary general, Ace Magashule, are considering throwing their weight behind former health minister, Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize is one of the leading party presidential candidates for the upcoming ANC elective conference.

Magashule, who is currently facing criminal charges, is unable to enter the ANC presidential race due to the party’s step-aside rule barring members facing criminal charges from contesting ANC positions.

While Magashule’s supporters are still pushing for the ANC to grant him permission to enter the leadership race, they are currently re-evaluating their strategy.

According to sources within the Magashule camp which lost the battle to have the August ANC national policy conference scrap the party’s step-aside policy, his backers are “now seriously considering plan B”.

A senior ANC member from Magashule’s home province of Free State, said:

Even though the ANC policy conference did not agree with our position that the step-aside policy should be scrapped, our view is that ANC branches at the national conference could have a different take on the step-aside matter. So, the plan is for us to get the national elective conference to discuss the step-aside matter right at the beginning of conference.

Usually, ANC policy-related matters such as the step-aside rule are discussed at the conference commission phase which happens after the election phase of the gathering.

The current ANC national chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, will preside over the first phase of the conference, which deals with what is generally referred to as the credentials.

There is a strong view within the Magashule camp that Mantashe, who is widely regarded as a President Cyril Ramaphosa supporter, would not allow the step-aside matter to be part of the conference’s credentials phase.

“Indeed, we are faced with that challenge. So, the reality is that if Mantashe slams the door, it would be impossible for comrade Ace to contest. That’s why we are now also looking at the possibility of partnering with other candidates,” the Magashule supporter said.

The ANC’s anti-Ramaphosa faction is currently split into several groupings, with a section of the camp supporting Mkhize, another rooting for former AU chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and the remainder of the members of the faction backing either Magashule or Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.

Among the ANC presidential candidates opposed to Ramaphosa, Mkhize was the only candidate who has the support of a party provincial executive committee (PEC).

While the majority of the ANC PECs across the party’s nine provinces have endorsed Ramaphosa, the KwaZulu-Natal PEC has thrown its weight behind Mkhize.

Asked whether the Magashule camp would pick Mkhize should its plan to have Magashule on the ballot paper fail, the Magashule supporter said there “was a high likelihood” that they will join the Mkhize camp.

The Magashule supporter said:

It’s too early to say which of the four candidates is the strongest but for now, comrade Zweli is the frontrunner. So, if things stay the same, it would make political sense for us to work with comrade Zweli. However, Magashule will not come cheap. He is currently the ANC secretary general and has support in ANC branches across the country. So, obviously, there would be terms and conditions.

Former Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, who is a close ally of Magashule, said the suspended ANC secretary general was confident that he “will contest”.

“As for the other things you are referring to, it’s way too early to consider such options,” he said.

In other news – No regrets for Zodwa Wabantu after terminating 11 pregnancies

South African dancer, Zodwa Wabantu has reportedly defended her decision to disclose information of her apparent 11 abortions.

zodwa wabantu

Speaking to a local publication, Zodwa Wabantu said her decision to have that many abortions was because she was idiotic and did not use a condom. However, she does not regret her decision to terminate the pregnancies. Learn More