While we all wait with bated breath for suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule to apologise, some political pundits have suggested that he has no plans of abiding to the National Executive Committee’s (NEC) instructions.

According to the University of Pretoria’s Dr Sithembile Mbete, the chances of Magashule eating humble pie and acceding to the NEC are pretty slim.

“If he apologises, for offering that suspension letter to President Ramaphosa and speaking to the media, subsequent to his suspension, it would be legitimising the sanction that he has received from the NEC and it would be legitimising the step-aside resolution, which he has been claiming is illegitimate,” Mbete said.

“It is unlikely that Ace Magashule will apologise because he thinks he has done nothing wrong. An apology would negate what he has been saying all along. I do think that part of the NEC’s decision to make his reinstatement contingent on a public apology opens up the way to further disciplinary action against him”

Dr Sithembile Mbete, Political Analyst

Ace Magashule will remain defiant

Ace Magashule had issued a suspension letter to the party’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa. However, the ANC was quick to rubbish the letter, saying Magashule did not have the authority to do so – something which was later reaffirmed by the NEC during its weekend-long meeting just recently. The decision-making body also condemned Magashule for the letter, saying his conduct was unacceptable and a flagrant violation of the rules. He was subsequently ordered to apologise to the ANC community.

His second in command, Jessie Duarte held a media briefing on Tuesday, 11 May 2021, during which she said they were confident Magashule would in fact issue an pology.

“We are confident the SG will rise to the occasion and follow the dictates of the ANC constitution,” Duarte said.

She said they had initially decided to give Magashule 48 hours to apologise.

“The suggestion was to request to SG to do so (apologise) within 48 hours and the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) made that at the end of his statement. Although in the NEC body, there was no timeline given, I just want to be clear about that. We’re hoping that within this week, we’ll see the SG doing so and we really encourage him to do so”

Magashule faces fraud and corruption charges in connection with a R255 million asbestos contract which was awarded in 2014 in the Free State, when he was still premier.

The South African