Politics

ANC's Duarte calls for calm, discipline from Magashule supporters

ANC's Duarte calls for calm, discipline from Magashule supporters

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC)'s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte is calling for calm and discipline in Bloemfontein where her fellow NEC member Ace Magashule is set to appear in court on charges of corruption.

"We are appealing to members of the ANC who are in Bloemfontein at the moment to remember that there is one ANC and that we have asked all our members to respect the fact that the law must take its course. The SG himself has made that call. We see people burning T-shirts... we don't agree with what you are doing."

• ANC's Magashule hands himself over to Hawks ahead of court appearance

Magashule's supporters have defied orders not to wear party regalia and many have been burning T-shirts with President Cyril Ramaphosa's face on them, demanding that he step down.

Duarte said that it was disappointing and she called for unity.

"As you support the ANC, do so with a great measure of discipline. You have the right to express your views where ever you are. The ANC will never stop you from expressing your views but what you must remember is that support for the secretary-general cannot result in the ANC being destroyed or divided."

Magashule is one of eight accused in the case involving a R255 million contract to replace asbestos roofing on homes in the Free State.

It all dates back to Magashule's time as premier of the province and years later, many residents are still waiting for the asbestos roofs to be replaced amid reports that some people have even become ill as a result.

Magashule handed himself over to the Hawks on Friday morning so that they could process his arrest in the wake of the warrant issued against him.

Earlier, there was a confrontation between supporters and police.

Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans spokesperson and staunch Magashule supporter, Carl Niehaus, was removed by police outside the court.

It's not clear why he was defying police orders but former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo defused the situation and later accused police of poor handling of the crowds that had gathered this morning.

Niehaus claimed he was injured and he accused police of damaging his hearing aid.

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