Ousted African National Congress secretary general, Ace Magashule, on Wednesday announced the formation of a new party in South Africa, the African Congress for Transformation (ACT).
A close ally of ex-president Jacob Zuma, he was expelled from the ruling party just two months ago, after he was found guilty of violating its constitution.
At a press briefing in Soweto, he described the party as “a new ship for freedom”.
“I want to say to all South Africans, come along and join us. All those who are weary and politically abused. We have suffered collective betrayal as a people and a nation at the hands of the people who claim to be our leaders. We have been sold out, with few pieces of silver,” he said.
While the ANC’s image has been damaged in recent years by allegations of graft and mismanagement, Magashule too is facing criminal charges of corruption, fraud, and money laundering.
These relate to the alleged embezzlement of public funds earmarked for the removal of asbestos from government-built homes.
He has also defended his former boss, Zuma — who is also facing graft accusations — as the victim of a witch hunt.
Magashule, who remains popular with parts of the left-leaning electorate, said the ANC was “moving fast towards the right and abandoning its centre-left position.”
“I’m disgruntled because the ANC of Oliver Tambo, the ANC I joined for more than 43 years, is not the ANC we know today,” he said.
The new party includes several former members of the ANC. It’s not clear if ACT has been registered yet with South Africa’s electoral commission.