One of the governing party’s regions in the Free State, Fezile Dabi, has come out in defence of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule amid claims that he may be arrested for alleged corruption.
In his defence, the region said Magashule is a victim of abuse of power, joining the ANC Youth League in the province and that of the Vhembe region in Limpopo, which this week raised similar concerns.
Magashule is from the Free State and was its premier between 2009 until he was elected the ruling party’s secretary-general in 2017.
Before that, he was the provincial chair from 1992 and served as MEC in various departments.
The region’s concern was that since the ANC’s national executive committee resolved in August that all members facing prosecution must “step aside”, there have been attempts to abuse the clause.
“The ANC Fezile Dabi region notes, with serious concern and contempt, the attempts to unseat the legitimately elected secretary-general of the ANC, Comrade Ace Magashule, through the use of state organs like the judiciary. These are nothing more than attempts to reverse the gains achieved in fighting and destroying white monopoly capital (WMC).
“The reported possible arrest is aimed at tarnishing his image because of the uncompromising stance he has taken against WMC and championing the course of the masses of our people through radical economic transformation … the Free State had suddenly become a playground for arrests of dignitaries and the Zondo commission, with desperate testimonies aimed at linking Cde Ace Magashule to some of the alleged corrupt activities,” the region said in a statement on Wednesday.
However, speaking to the media on Wednesday shortly before the start of the Cabinet lekgotla in Pretoria, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu denied that the agencies were being used to settle scores. He said they were just cracking down on criminality.