ANC can't control Minister Muthambi - Vavi

Johannesburg – ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa have tried and failed to control Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi claimed.

Vavi told journalists that Kodwa was not being truthful with South Africans.

"He (Kodwa) knows that I know he and Mantashe tried very hard to get Muthambi to live by the spirit and the latter of the law as prescribed by various ANC policies. He can’t control Muthambi because she gets instruction from the office above them," he said  on Monday, suggesting that Muthambi was controlled by President Jacob Zuma.

Vavi said Kodwa was diverting attention from real issues at the SABC by accusing him of hijacking the fight against SABC censorship.

"Which ANC is Kodwa speaking on behalf of? The one of censorship or the one that promotes media freedom? His conscience tells him he is on the wrong side of history. He wants to divert attention away from the real issues. 

"The shameful support of the ANC of censorship is supposed to be now about Vavi. That is nonsense. Where is the ANC and why is it not defending the Constitution of the Republic? What type of an ANC do we have today?"

Vavi was responding to Kodwa’s comment to News24 that the fight for a SABC free of censorship had been hijacked by right wingers such as Solidarity and Vavi.

On Friday morning, journalists from several media outlets picketed outside the SABC’s offices in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in support of three journalists who were served with suspension letters last week.

'He can't now speak for the ANC'

The three had disagreed with an instruction during a diary conference not to cover the Right2Know Campaign's protest against censorship at the public broadcaster earlier that week.

This followed the suspension of three other employees.

COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been criticised for his decision last month that the SABC would no longer broadcast footage of the destruction of property during protests.

Vavi was at the SABC’s Johannesburg stations to meet with Motsoeneng. Upon his arrival, Motsoeneng told Vavi and other stakeholders that he had cancelled the meeting. 

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told News24 that Vavi could not speak as an unofficial ANC spokesperson after he had distanced himself from the organisation.

"He is neither appointed by me or by the ANC. He must speak for himself. If he turns his back on the ANC, he can't now speak for the ANC," he said. 

Kodwa could not be reached for comment.

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