ANC 'dealing with' black ops campaign claims

2017-01-25 17:38
Gwede Mantashe (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Gwede Mantashe (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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Pretoria – African National Congress officials have met party general manager Ignatius Jacobs to discuss his involvement in the so-called "war room" saga, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday.

"A general manager of the ANC is implicated. We are dealing with that matter," he told journalists in Centurion.

He said an individual had met Jacobs to make a deal on the side, and it had nothing to do with the ANC.

There was no such thing as “black ops” in the ANC, Mantashe said.

READ: ANC 'Black Ops' publicist not rattled by death threats

He was referring to an alleged covert R50m ANC operation to undermine the Economic Freedom Fighters and Democratic Alliance’s campaigns ahead of local government elections in 2016.

He said he had no knowledge of the deal. He distanced the ANC from claims that the party hired businesswoman Sihle Bolani to conduct this campaign.

Settlement agreement

On Wednesday, the High Court in Johannesburg struck Bolani’s application for an order to force the ANC to pay her R2.2m for her role in the project off the roll. The court said it was not urgent.

Details of the covert smear campaign against opposition parties were revealed in Bolani’s court papers and exposed by an amaBhungane investigation News24 published on Tuesday.

READ THIS EXCLUSIVE: The ANC's R50m election 'black ops'

In an affidavit, Bolani claimed Shaka Sisulu, grandson of Walter Sisulu, was part of the R50m media campaign. Sisulu said he briefly worked with Bolani, but refuted claims that it was for a covert operation.

Mantashe said Sisulu was not an ANC employee and that many people claimed to be doing things on behalf of Luthuli House. Many people volunteered for the party and said a lot of things during campaigns.

Bolani signed a R1m settlement agreement with Jacobs in early December, but then turned to the court to demand the full amount, as she had still not been paid. The agreement, attached to the court papers, was on an ANC letterhead.

Mantashe said he only saw the letter with Jacobs’ signature on Tuesday.

"When you are person who wants attention because there is a fallout somewhere, you will say many things," Mantashe said.

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Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  politics 2017
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