Spy scandal: Mabuza suing Phosa ‘to clear things up’

2014-11-24 16:43

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Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza says litigation against former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa will clear him of accusations levelled against him, including those linking him to political assassinations.

Mabuza called a media briefing in Mbombela today after he had a meeting with provincial ANC officials and the provincial executive committee in the wake of information Phosa passed to ANC deputy-secretary Jesse Duarte suggesting that he was an apartheid spy.

Mabuza confirmed that he was suing Phosa for R10 million and was also considering laying criminal charges as he considered him to be the source of the information.

He said he had also requested President Jacob Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry, which would clear his and Phosa’s names as similar allegations were also made against Phosa while he was Mpumalanga premier from 1994 to 1999.

Mabuza said he had also requested State Security Minister David Mahlobo to investigate.

“We’re here because one stands accused. I received a document from the deputy secretary-general, Comrade Jessie, and according to (her) the document comes from Phosa. Even the front cover of the document indicates such. I studied the document and reverted to her to say I’m going to take a few actions,” Mabuza said.

“The document contains allegations that are scandalous and meant to diminish the goodwill that is bestowed on me by the ANC and the people of this province. I regard them to be senseless and spurious and the fact that they’re made by someone I’ve worked with all these years is unfortunate,” he said.

Mabuza said the allegations were intended to destabilise ANC structures and erode members’ confidence in him.

He, however, said he had regarded Phosa as a brother and their relationship was good when he served in his cabinet as education MEC. Mabuza said there was a breakdown in their relationship when he served in the cabinet of Phosa’s successor, Ndaweni Mahlangu (1999 to 2004).

When approached for comment, Phosa said: “Did I say so (that Mabuza was an apartheid spy)? I gave a report to the ANC leadership and don’t want to discuss things I didn’t say. I’ve done my duty as an ANC member.”

“It is the duty of our leadership to follow up these cases ... some people escaped the net (during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission). It doesn’t matter who the source is alleged to be. The message in the report suggests more information and leads to what eluded the TRC.”

Mabuza, however, said inferences that were made about his link to a hit man named Josh a few years ago would now be cleared.

Josh, it was alleged, was a Mozambican-born hitman who was hired to assassinate politicians seen as having the potential to win ANC positions, as well as those exposing corruption in the provincial government.

“Remember there were allegations about Josh serving certain politicians and inferences were made that that politician is me. I’m happy everything will be cleared now,” Mabuza said.

The relationship between Mabuza and Phosa has been frosty for some time.

Three years ago the provincial ANC Youth League, which backed Mabuza, alleged that Phosa and PEC members Fish Mahlalela and Lassy Chiwayo were funding service delivery protests to unseat Mabuza.

Organisers of service delivery protests also alleged police tortured them into confessing the trio paid them to cause unrests in communities.

Mabuza had however kept Phosa’s wife, Pinky, in his cabinet as MEC for finance and later as economic development tourism and environment MEC until after the recent election when she was deployed to Parliament.

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