ANC responds to Zuma's Ramatlhodi spy claim: 'No running commentary on state capture commission evidence'

2019-07-15 18:24
Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg, where he faces tough questioning over allegations that he oversaw systematic looting of state funds while in power. (Wikus de Wet, AFP)

Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg, where he faces tough questioning over allegations that he oversaw systematic looting of state funds while in power. (Wikus de Wet, AFP)

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The ANC has shied away from commenting on former president Jacob Zuma's claim that his one-time Cabinet minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi was an apartheid-era spy "who was recruited in Lesotho".

Zuma, who was testifying at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, drew gasps from the room when he made the claims on Monday.

The former ANC boss was seemingly hitting back at Ramatlhodi for comments he made to the commission in November 2018, when he said Zuma had "auctioned" off the country to the Gupta family.

Zuma claimed Ramatlhodi was acting under instruction when he appeared before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the chairperson of the commission, last year.

Ramatlhodi denied Zuma's claim, urging him to join the former minister in taking a lie detector test.

"It will not go uncontested. He must prove it. If he is alleging it, he must prove it. I have never been a spy anywhere. I don't want to be speaking about this thing in the media," he told News24.

Speaking to SABC News during a lunch break, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said he "wouldn't want to go into the merits and demerits of what is being said here at the commission".

"Should the ANC at a certain point be required to come and make a formal representation and take a stance the ANC shall do so. For now, individual cadres who are coming, the former leaders of the African National Congress, in the form of the former president, are giving their own version - the ANC has not been called. If the ANC is called the organisation shall be able to express itself."

Read the full transcript of Zuma's opening statement at Zondo

He added the party would not be "making running commentary on each and every little thing that comes out or issues that are presented by witnesses-in-chief or those who are invited to the commission".

Mabe said Zuma, as a former state president, should be commended for giving testimony at the commission, "trying to share information to the best of his knowledge and understanding".

In a statement issued earlier on Monday, Mabe added Zuma had met with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule at Luthuli House last week to brief him of his appearance at the commission.

This was viewed as "courteous and exemplary" by the organisation, the statement read.

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Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  ngoako ramatlhodi  |  state capture inquiry
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