Ace Magashule

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Ace Magashule
Ace Magashule
BornElias Sekgobelo Magashule
(1959-11-03) November 3, 1959 (age 62)
Tumahole, Parys, Orange Free State, Union of South Africa
NationalitySouth African
  • Politician
ChildrenTshepiso Magashule, Thato Magashule and Thoko Alice Malembe

Elias Sekgobelo "Ace" Magashule is a South African politician and member of ANC. In May 2021, Magashule was suspended from his position as secretary-general.


Elias Sekgobelo Magashule earned the nickname Ace because of his soccer prowess. Magashule played midfield in his day and wore number 8.[1]


Details about Ace Magashule's wife are unknown.


Sons; Tshepiso Magashule and Thato Magashule[2] Thoko Alice Malembe is Magashule's estranged daughter with whom he was reunited in 2011.[3]


Magashule receives a monthly salary of R133 000.[4]

Political Career

Magashule also served as the Premier of the Free State from 2009 to 2018.

He was mentored by Chris Hani and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. He participated in the founding of the United Democratic Front in the 1980s. After spending some time in exile, Magashule was elected the chairperson of the ANC's Northern Free State region after the unbanning of the ANC. After the merger of the ANC's northern and southern regions in 1994, Magashule continued to serve in various leadership positions. Having continuously been elected Provincial Chairperson, he became the longest-serving ANC Provincial Chairperson. At the ANC's 2007 Polokwane conference, he was directly elected as an additional member of the National Executive Committee.[1]

Election As ANC Secretary-General

Magashule was elected ANC secretary-general in 2017 after narrowly defeating a candidate allied with Cyril Ramaphosa.[5]

Anti-apartheid Activism

He was a founder member of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) in 1979. The ANC claim Magashule was arrested and charged with high treason in 1982.[1] Another version of events confirmed Magashule was arrested following a protest against a visit by Ciskei Prime Minister Lennox Sebe but says he was convicted of public violence.

Magashule was detained several times under the Internal Security Act and was also held in solitary confinement for nine months in 1985. [1]

Corruption Allegations

The corruption allegations against Ace Magashule stem from the awarding of a $16m (£12m) government contract in 2014.

At that time, Magashule was the head of the provincial government in the Free State. The $16m contract was issued to private firms for the removal of asbestos from low-cost homes, but it is alleged that there were kickbacks and suspicious payments.[5]


In a letter dated 3 May 2021, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte informed Magashule that he was temporarily suspended from his position as ANC secretary-general pending the outcome of his court proceedings.

Magashule appeared in court charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering related to a Free State asbestos tender. He was released on R200 000 bail.

As part of his suspension, Magashule was informed that he could not carry out his duties and responsibilities as secretary-general; he may not represent the organisation publicly, and he cannot make public pronouncements nor can he mobilise ANC structures. He was also required to update the Office of the Secretary-General on a monthly basis, regarding the progress of his case. Magashule was also informed that the decision to temporarily suspend him would be reviewed by the NEC every six months, or from time to time at his request.

Magashule's suspension came after ANC's national working committee (NWC) on 3 May 2021, gave the green light to suspend all party leaders criminally charged, who did not step aside within the 30-day deadline, which expired in April 2021.

Magashule had rejected a push that he step aside, insisting that he could only be removed by a conference of the ANC. [6]

Court Challenge

On 9 July 2021, the High Court in Johannesburg delivered its judgment endorsing Ace Magashule's suspension and also rejected that Magashule had any legal basis to suspend Cyril Ramaphosa.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party welcomed the decision of the High Court to dismiss Magashule's challenge with costs.[7]

Ace Magushule said he would appeal the Johannesburg High Court judgment in which his application to reverse his removal from office was dismissed.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Elias Sekgobelo Magashule, ANC, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: May 5, 2021
  2. Ace Magashule's sons join list of ANC family members linked to Covid-19 govt tenders, News24, Published: august 1, 2020, Retrieved: May 5, 2021
  3. Pieter-Louis Myburgh, Magashule and daughter in money-for-jam property scandal, News24, Published: January 31, 2018, Retrieved: May 5, 2021
  4. Lizeka Tandwa, Magashule and parliamentarians will continue to receive cushy salaries during suspensions, Mail & Guardian, Published: May 5, 2021, Retrieved: May 5, 2021
  5. 5.0 5.1 South Africa's Ace Magashule: Arrest warrant issued for ANC official, BBC, Published: November 10, 2020, Retrieved: May 5, 2021
  6. Pule Letshwiti-Jones and Qaanitah Hunter, ANC suspends secretary-general Ace Magashule, News24, Published: May 5, 2021, Retrieved: May 5, 2021
  7. ANC welcomes court judgment endorsing Magashule suspension, eNCA, Published: July 9, 2021, Retrieved: July 9, 2021
  8. Setumo Stone, Ace Magashule to appeal judgment that confirmed his suspension from ANC, City Press, Published: July 9, 2021, Retrieved: july 10, 2021