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Ruling party to investigate Ace Magashule’s alleged hand in ATM’s formation

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The African National Congress (ANC) is set to investigate the alleged involvement of its secretary-general Ace Magashule in the formation of the ATM party.

The ANC is due to launch an investigation into the alleged involvement of Ace Magashule in the formation of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), led by Vuyolwethu Zungula. Three sources, who have direct knowledge of events, have confirmed to News24 that former president Kgalema Motlanthe will lead the investigation. His panel is still to be finalised but is said to include former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala.

These allegations come after South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) general-secretary Buyisile Ngqulwana had claimed, in an affidavit in May 2018, that ATM was formed with the help of former president Jacob Zuma and Magashule. Speculations surfaced that the inclusion of the word “movement” was due to advice by Magashule.

ATM was established in 2018 by the SACMCC and is primarily made up of church leaders – who are rumoured to be Zuma loyalists. It is alleged that ahead of the May 8 elections, disgruntled ATM members submitted damning evidence to the ANC, detailing Magashule’s involvement, in an attempt to have the party removed from the ballot paper.

On Monday, 10 June 2019, the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) was tasked by the party’s leadership to manage the logistics of the investigation. The decision to investigate Magashule is reportedly not new as Magashule agreed to the probe in an effort to clear his name.

“This is not new; it was a decision made at the NEC and Ace approved it to clear his name. The NWC was given a task to handle the logistics and come back with details,” said an insider.

“It goes back to what we are talking about on stripping powers. Given that he is compromised and there is doubt around the credibility of his office, he must comply. I imagine he thinks his powers are being usurped,” the source continued, referring to reports that the top six were in discussion to strip Magashule of some of his powers, including communication.

Abenathi Gqomo

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