The end of the dispute between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Ace Magashule could be the first significant step towards strengthening the ANC into a coherent political movement able to enforce its will.

The decision by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to remove suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule from its meeting over the weekend suggests that his time as a political player on the ANC’s national stage may be over, at least for a while. The decision to also remove the former Cabinet minister Bongani Bongo reinforces consistency, that this is not about one person, but a principle.

At the same time the implementation of the decision that those criminally charged must step aside, could have important implications for virtually all the ANC’s provincial organisations, ushering in a new period of fighting for the overall balance of power. Political peace and harmony still appear a long way away.

Reports over the weekend that Magashule attempted to join the ANC’s NEC meeting suggest that after a discussion, the NEC decided he must be removed from the meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom.

It’s understood that it was ANC Chair Gwede Mantashe who first said Magashule should…