South Africa’s local media reported on Wednesday that the country’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has suspended its Secretary General, Ace Magashule, in line with tougher rules for party officials charged with corruption,.
Magashule is one of the ANC’s top six most powerful officials and one of the main rivals of President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has taken a harder line on corruption since taking over as ANC leader in December 2017.
Magashule faces corruption charges over a contract to audit homes with asbestos roofs when he was premier of the Free State province but denies wrongdoing. He has refused to step aside or vacate his position within 30 days, as the ANC’s national executive instructed all members charged with corruption or other serious crimes to do at the end of March.
A top ANC committee met on Monday and reaffirmed the so-called step-aside rule, which is seen as an important test of Ramaphosa’s control over the ANC.