Ace Magashule loses constitutional court bid

Ace Magashule, the suspended ANC secretary-general, will not be able to return to his official responsibilities at Luthuli House, as determined by the Constitutional Court. In a brief ruling on Wednesday, the highest court in the land declared that his request for permission to challenge his suspension from the ANC was denied with costs.

The Constitutional Court has considered the application for condonation and the application for leave to appeal. It has concluded that, although there are no reasonable prospects of success on the merits of the application for leave to appeal, the delay in bringing the application for leave to appeal is minimal,” the court wrote in its judgment.

The court further stated that there was no harm done to the respondents and that the delay’s justification was reasonable. The pardon is granted, however, due to the lack of reasonable chances of success, leave to appeal must be denied.

After the Supreme Court of Challenge denied Magashule’s request for permission to appeal his suspension in January, he turned to the Constitutional Court. The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg rejected the suspended ANC leader’s motion in September 2021, ending his first attempt to appeal. Due to the ANC’s step-aside policy, Magashule was expelled in May 2021. Following the regulation, ANC members who are being prosecuted on criminal accusations must withdraw from the proceedings.

He resisted stepping aside, and the party’s then-associate secretary-general Jessie Duarte ultimately had to make him do it. Magashule is accused of corruption in connection with the Free State asbestos corruption affair. He declared earlier this year that he would be open to running for office at the ANC’s national conference in December.

The apex court decision has, however, effectively ended his chances of realizing his aspirations. In the ANC, there has been much discussion about the step-aside rule because it will affect a number of well-liked leaders. The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) has broadened the rule to forbid any impacted members from ever running for leadership posts at ANC conferences.

As nominations for the ANC top six and NEC seats open in the upcoming weeks, the resolution will continue to spark intense discussion inside the party. The ANC has demanded the rule’s removal in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo. The step-aside rule has a lot of support, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa remarked in his concluding remarks at the party’s policy conference in July. He further stated that individuals who had reservations over its application could do so.

In addition, he wanted the courts to uphold the suspension letter he had sent to ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa. His request to have his own suspension ruled invalid is denied by all three courts, he promised to apologize to the party for seeking to suspend Ramaphosa. The Constitutional Court, in a brief ruling, just stated that there were no chances of victory. Magashule’s future is uncertain since individuals connected to Zweli Mkhize’s campaign for ANC leader frequently mention him as a potential chairman come December.

They must first get rid of the disputed step-aside rule and the most recent election rules, which prohibit anybody under investigation for corruption from running for any leadership positions inside the ANC. However, for the time being, it is unclear whether Magashule will apologize to the ANC for trying to suspend its president given the tense relationship the two parties have.

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