Impressive back to back performances by the ANC at local government polls have created a spring board for Ace Magashule who is now on a campaign to remake himself in the eyes of ANC members and voters.
Revelations of corruption in the Free State including the R250 million asbestos tender have been threatening his political ambitions.
Since the last by election in November, Magashule launched what he called the “Thank You Campaign” which allowed him to return to communities thanking them for supporting the ANC.
This week the ANC won 71% of 24 wards contested during this week’s by elections.
With President Cyril Ramaphosa too busy for some aspects of the ANC calendar, Magashule and his political allies are expected to criss-cross the country returning to the voters to thank them.
The man is facing 21 counts of fraud and corruption and is due to appear before the ANC Integrity Committee on Saturday.
With Jacob Zuma out of the way, Magashule is fast emerging as the public face of the Zuma faction in the ANC.
Yesterday the party said it was humbled by “this great show of confidence by the voters in our movement”.
“The ANC retained 12 wards nationally, won two wards from the DA in Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, lost one ward in Overstrand in the Western Cape and won three wards from the Better Residents Association in Mpumalanga.”
The results showed that voters continue to reject independent candidates and the EFF also failed to impress at local government level.
Although the party is South Africa’s third biggest party in parliament it could not win a single ward this week.
The DA said the by-election results show that the party was on a “steady course of regrowth.
“South Africans have demonstrated that they place their confidence in large parties like the DA with a proven track record of governance, instead of smaller parties.
“In yesterday’s elections, the DA retained six out of eight DA Wards, receiving an average vote of 68% in the wards that we held. We obtained thumping majorities in the City of Cape Town (Ward 115) at 82.30% and eThekwini (Ward 66) at 85.03% of votes cast,” the party said in a statement.
Picture source: @magashule_ace