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S/Africa: ANC official appeals suspension from the party

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule appealed his suspension at the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday, saying…

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule appealed his suspension at the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday, saying a lower court had pre-judged the case and was prejudiced against him.The argument came out during Magashule’s application under way before Justice Jody Kollapen in the High Court, with the ANC official’s lawyer saying the case should be taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal for a hearing.   

The matter relates to Magashule’s suspension from the ANC after he failed to “step down” as the party’s senior boss — till his alleged corruption case when he was premier of the Free State was cleared.

The rule stipulates that any member facing a criminal case should step aside pending the final outcome of the case.

According to his defence team, led by Dali Mpofu, the High Court pre-judged the case and prejudiced him.

Magashule returned to the High Court believing that a higher court would come to a different conclusion of the matter, Mpofu argued.

Legal expert Sanusha Naidoo said last month the dismissal of Magashule’s case by the High Court in Johannesburg was a lesson that internal party issues should not involve courts. 

Naidoo said the judiciary gets nervous around these political cases.

“There is a political connotation to these things. The fact of the matter is the pronouncement that was made around checking to see whether Party Rule 25.70 was legal and was justified,” Naidoo said.

He added: “It had political connotations. You can’t ignore it. I think that when you start using the courts to fight these political battles then, of course, the court gets nervous.”

“I think in this case, the court realised that in the context of what was happening, I mean the entire application, has been dismissed,” the expert said.

Hearing continues.

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