World South Africa's ANC suspends Secretary General Magashule - local media
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© AFP - Themba Hadebe The South African Presiden Cyril Ramaphosa during his hearing by the Anti-Corruption Commission in Johannesburg, April 28, 2021. President Cyril Ramaphosa Past the day before an anti-corruption commission. The Zondo Commission has been responsible for investigating suspicion of fraud and corruption within the state as well as the accaparment of power by a minority.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) has suspended its Secretary General, Ace Magashule, in line with tougher rules for party officials charged with corruption, Eyewitness News and state broadcaster SABC reported on Wednesday.
Magashule faces corruption charges over a contract to audit homes with asbestos roofs when he was premier of the Free State province. He denies the charges against him.
South Africa's ANC set for tug of war over graft strategy
The scene is set for a bruising battle within South Africa's ruling African National Congress after its secretary general, Elias Magashule, ignored a party deadline to quit over graft allegations. "For the first time, the ANC is about to fire its own secretary-general. That has never happened in history," said political sciences professor Mcebisi Ndletyana.The Magashule affair touches on the history and heart of the ANC.The party was the force that brought South Africa's apartheid system to an end and has governed the country ever since its first democratic elections in 1994.
The ANC said in a statement on Tuesday that its National Working Committee had reaffirmed an earlier decision that all members charged with corruption or other serious crimes must "step aside" from their posts within 30 days or face suspension.
ANC spokesman Pule Mabe had no immediate comment when called by Reuters on Wednesday.
Magashule is one of the ANC's top six most powerful officials, in charge of the day-to-day running of the party that has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid. He is one of President Cyril Ramaphosa's main rivals.
The "step aside" rule is an important test of Ramaphosa's control over the ANC and his commitment to tackle graft.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Wendell Roelf; editing by John Stonestreet, Alexandra Hudson)
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