THE secretary general of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule (pictured), who has been suspended over corruption charges, has filed a suit against party leader and head of state Cyril Ramaphosa, legal papers showed Friday.
Magashule, facing fraud charges related to a multi-million-dollar housing project, is the first top official to be temporarily forced out under a new crackdown on graft.
In papers filed on Friday, he asked the Johannesburg High Court to scrap the ANC’s decision to remove him as the party’s head of administration.
The 61-year-old is also seeking to have the party’s new anti-graft rules declared ‘unlawful, invalid and null… or void.’
His suspension has been seen as major boost for Ramaphosa’s avowed fight against the corruption that stains the ANC’s reputation.
After his suspension earlier this month, Magashule said that he had also ‘summarily’ suspended Ramaphosa from the ANC. He also wants the court to declare that this move is ‘valid and effective.’
The party has been divided into factions in the face of corruption allegations against some of its senior officials, including former president Jacob Zuma.
The ANC led the fight against apartheid and has ruled the country since the advent of democracy 27 years ago.
But the party has been struggling to regain its former glory, and in recent years has suffered dwindling support in local and national elections.