Sun. Nov 17th, 2019

Flirting with the enemy: Ace Magashule grilled for courting another party

ATM ANC NEC South African politicsThe ANC integrity commission seems to be working overtime, here. Ace Magashule is said to be next on the chopping block, accused of influencing the ATM.

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One of the ANC’s most controversial figures has apparently drawn the ire of the party’s most senior executives. During an NEC meeting on Sunday, it’s understood that Ace Magashule faced a line of questioning about his rumoured allegiance to the African Transformation Movement (ATM).

As City Press revealed, Ace Magashule was among those taken to task over the alleged links with the ATM, which contested the elections in opposition to the ANC.

Ace Magashule and the ATM

The newly-formed political party began taking shape last year, as a group that would have regular input from religious leaders. They contested their first general elections in 2019 and put in a stellar performance. The ATM now has two seats in Parliament, after claiming over 75 000 votes.

They were also the best “newcomers”, proving to be more popular than the likes of Good and The South African Capitalist Party (ZACP). They had a bit of star-power in their ranks too, after Jimmy Manyi joined the cause earlier in the year. But according to some reports, that wasn’t the only big political fish they’d managed to reel in.

Why is Ace Magashule in trouble?

Head of the SA Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) Buyisile Ngqulwana says that consultations were held alongside Ace Magashule and Jacob Zuma when the party initially formed in 2018.

It’s believed that church leaders were invited to both Nkandla and Luthuli House to discuss the possibility of establishing a party which could “provide an alternative” to a Cyril Ramaphosa-led ANC. Meanwhile, Magashule was credited as an official who helped form the basis of the new party’s policies.

Ace Magashule has publicly denied any connections to the organisation, but the agenda was clearly on the table this weekend. During the ANC’s NEC meeting in Pretoria, spokesperson Pule Mabe revealed the issue was raised.

“We had said that if there are things that need to be looked into – be it about the ATM or about things that happened during elections – it will be the officials who are seized with such things. If there is a feeling that something must be dealt with, it will be attended to.”

Pule Mabe

ANC integrity commission continues to ruffle feathers

Other sources who spoke to the publication also claim that Ace Magashule is in a spot of bother after his “visit to the ATM”. He won’t be the only ANC official forced to face the music in the near future, though – the party’s integrity commission is unnerving a few wayward politicians:

It is believed that a total of 23 ANC senior leaders have been asked by the George Mashamba-led committee to step aside. This request has launched a ripple of disgruntlement across the party’s factions, and its implications could be responsible for ushering in some serious winds of change within the government.

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