Tensions are rising between a group that supports and another which is against ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule ahead of his appearance in Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Magashule is expected to hand himself over to the Hawks before 10 am before his scheduled court appearance on charges of alleged corruption.
The matter relates to his alleged involvement in the irregular awarding of the R255 million asbestos contract in 2014 while he was the Premier of the Free State. Public Protector, Busisiswe Mkhwebane, found that government did not get value for money in the multimillion rand contract.
The ANC has said Magashule will continue his duties until the NEC has discussed the matter at their next meeting.
Opposition parties and some concerned ANC members have welcomed the issuing of a warrant of arrest for Magashule, but Magashule’s staunch supporters say his court case is politically-motivated.
“They have funded the Nasrec conference. They are beginning to reap the results by antagonising anyone that will stand in from the white monopoly capital. So, Ace Magashule happens to be one of the people who is confronting white monopoly capital. That is why he is victimised as the leader of the ANC,” Free State ANC Youth League Chairperson Makalo Mohale says.
However, former Free State ANC Treasurer Mxolisi Dukwana said on Thursday they want to rid the ANC of members abusing positions.
“This is not a symbolic action. For us, it is a journey we are embarking on to ensure we rid this organisation of all these elements. These agents, these modern Askaris that are hallowing the ANC from within and abusing positions that they are given, treating our people as toys.”
Security will be beefed up at court due to heightened political tensions.