Former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa claims that the document labelling Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza a former apartheid spy had been in existence for five years. Phosa said this today while responding to his former employee Jan Venter, who alleged in an affidavit given to police that he saw Phosa and his associate, Nick Elliot, drafting the report in May last year. Phosa also said that he had initiated a legal process to evaluate the merits of the “defamatory” allegations Venter had made against him in the affidavit he gave to North West deputy provincial commissioner Major General Jacob Tsumane. Phosa submitted the report to ANC officials at Luthuli House. “I was unaware that Mr Venter had deposed an affidavit until I was alerted to it by the press when calling me for comment, but have since obtained assurance from my attorney that it is so. To my utter surprise, the story published in the media alludes that the affidavit was compiled in 2014, whereas to my knowledge there are people who have had the same document in question for the past five years,” said Phosa. “These people will, upon request, testify before any court regarding how long they have had this document before it was purportedly manufactured in my house, as alluded in the quoted affidavit,” he added. Venter alleged that he was at Phosa’s Hazyview home when he and Elliot drafted the report, which claims that Mabuza along with former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock and security policeman Butana Nofomela spied on top ANC officials – Phosa, Jacob Zuma, Albertina Sisulu and Angie Motshekga. Venter refused to comment. Phosa and Venter had a fallout last year, resulting in Venter’s resignation. Venter has since laid an intimidation charge against Phosa’s head of security, Peter van Zyl. He claimed in January that Van Zyl harassed him because he refused to return documents and photos he had of Phosa’s family. Phosa has laid theft charges against Venter to the amount of R53 000 and also instituted a civil claim to recover the money. “Until last year, I would have vouched for his character as an upstanding principled man and Christian who performed his duties with the competency expected for a man of his calibre … After he resigned he commenced a campaign which to my legal mind was aimed at tarnishing my image and impugn my integrity. Some close associates even suspected there was a political motive; personally I failed to see the political motive,” said Phosa. He added that he learnt Venter was being “courted by other individuals to continue his campaign against me, culminating in the allegations published in the media”. Mabuza believes the spy allegations are part of a campaign to unseat him as premier and provincial ANC chairperson. Other campaigns, Mabuza said, included service delivery protests, allegations that he was involved in political assassinations and that he was corrupt. Mabuza has since requested President Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry to probe the allegations. He has also asked State Security Minister David Mahlobo to investigate. Mahlobo referred the matter to the office of the inspector-general. * The story has been amended since it was last published.