IN QUOTES | Magashule supporters ‘should not claim to represent ANC’ at court appearance

ANC SG Ace Magashule is expected to appear at the Bloemfontein high court on Friday.
ANC SG Ace Magashule is expected to appear at the Bloemfontein high court on Friday.

Supporters of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule are welcome to attend his Friday appearance at the Bloemfontein high court, but should not do so under the guise of representing the party.

This is what ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said on Wednesday during a media briefing after a warrant of arrest was issued for Magashule on Tuesday. Mabe, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile responded to questions from the media.

The warrant, according to the Hawks Free State spokesperson Capt Lynda Steyn, is in connection to the R255m funds allocated for the 2014 asbestos eradication project. Seven suspects were arrested last month in connection with the project, including businessman Edwin Sodi.

In a statement issued by the ANC ahead of the briefing, the party said Magashule does not want any individuals or group to march in support of him, or to print posters, T-shirts and placards bearing his name.

Here are five telling quotes from the presser:

Ace gets to keep his job

“The SG briefed us about the letters he has received from the law enforcement agencies and that he will co-operate and will go to court on Friday. The issue of stepping down is the matter that the NEC is still seized with and I'm sure in the next meeting the matter will be discussed further.”

Supporters attending court

“We took a decision during comrade [former president Jacob] Zuma's court case that members can attend the court case, but should not go there purporting to represent the ANC. If there was a necessity for the ANC to be represented, that would be done at the highest level.”

ANC calls for calm

“We need to call for calm in this period. We know that emotions are running high and the leadership calls on members to remain calm under the situation. We ask all our members to co-operate with all of these processes and allow comrade SG to be in a position to get his name cleared.”

Corruption is serious

“We do take the allegations of corruption seriously. That is why we say we're going to co-operate and not interfere. Our message to all our members out there is that the ANC will continue to address corruption as a big problem in society.”

ANC officials will not attend court 

“We have decided not to go because we cannot divorce ourselves from our positions as officials or from the ANC and we need to respect the resolutions that people will go as individuals. We maintain the position that we remain seized with the matter so we can ensure that the SG receives a fair and unbiased proposition from the courts and we hope that he will not be tried ahead of the court hearing.”


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