South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Photograph:( AFP )
The African National Congress (ANC), has suspended Ace Magashule, secretary-general of the ruling party of South Africa
In a bid to win back power in the upcoming October elections, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa is cracking down on corruption in his own party and in the process, he is also tightening his grip over the ANC.
The African National Congress (ANC), has suspended Ace Magashule, secretary-general of the ruling party of South Africa.
An influential member of ANC, Magashule is a key opponent of President Cyril Ramaphosa and a loyalist of the former president Jacob Zuma, who lost power after the Gupta corruption scandal exploded four years ago.
Magashule faces serious charges of money laundering and fraud. According to reports, he was part of a "premier league" of provincial leaders who backed Zuma through his many scandals. Even after Zuma’s exit from power in 2018, Magashule managed to survive politically.
President Ramasposa himself went before investigators and testified against his own party members. He said that over the past decade, a systematic looting of South Africa was allowed by the ANC under Zuma's reign. This was the most direct acknowledgement ever of state capture by the Gupta brothers.
According to the South African government's estimates, more than 35 billion dollars were stolen from its coffers. Most of this due to the alleged corruption by Zuma and the Guptas.
After Zuma's unceremonious exit, the ANC faced widespread public anger and suffered a major electoral defeat in the 2016 municipal polls. losing power in key cities like Johannesburg and Tshwane.
"State capture took place under our watch as the governing party. It involved some members and leaders of our organisation and it found fertile ground in the divisions, in the weaknesses and the tendencies that have developed in our organisation since 1994.", said Ramaphosa, who is also president of ANC.
"But we all acknowledge that the organisation could and should have done more to prevent the abuse of power”, he added.