Fireworks expected at ANC's national executive committee meeting

2019-07-26 09:47
(Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg)

(Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg)

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Factional battles within the ANC are expected to reach boiling point at this weekend's national executive committee (NEC) meeting, party officials have told News24.

Many within and outside the party believe the ANC's unity project is falling apart as the factional battles play out in public. 

The brewing storm was further intensified over the past three weeks when it played out on social media, in the courts and at the state capture commission of inquiry, when former president Jacob Zuma testified.

READ: Derek Hanekom a 'known enemy agent' - Jacob Zuma

An NEC insider said the NEC would be expected to discuss Zuma's testimony.

"Comrade Zuma needs to share how he could have known that we have spied within our ranks and chose to ignore it. These reckless statements need to be addressed by the NEC," the source said. 

Zuma made several startling claims before the commission, including that ANC officials had worked with foreign and apartheid intelligence operatives to get rid of him. He also claimed that senior ANC officials, Ngoako Ramathlodi and Siphiwe Nyanda, were spies who worked with the apartheid government.

Ramathlodi and Nyanda served in Zuma's Cabinet.

Soon after, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said Zuma's allegations were serious and needed to be probed.

However, the MKMVA's rival - the MKMVA national council - slammed Zuma's claims, saying they were "irresponsible" and "unsubstantiated allegations to besmirch comrades".

The SACP also accused Zuma of using distractions to avoid answering to the commission.

Then, on Thursday, the former president took to Twitter accusing NEC member Derek Hanekom, who also served in his Cabinet, of being a known agent.

He was reacting to the news that EFF leader Julius Malema alleged that Hanekom, a known President Cyril Ramaphosa loyalist , had conspired with some to oust Zuma in a motion of no confidence in the National Assembly two years ago. 

The motion was seen as an important moment in Zuma's downfall. Some ANC MPs voted with the opposition, but the attempt did not succeed.

Malema also alleged that Hanekom fed the party information about the ANC's 2017 national elective conference, adding that the former tourism minister was planning to start a splinter party if Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma won the presidential election and not Ramaphosa.

Hanekom said he met the EFF's Godrich Gardee at the "initiative" of the red berets leader.

ALSO READ: Selective amnesia and why Derek Hanekom is a target

It took Magashule hours to issue a statement on behalf of the ANC in which the party called Hanekom an EFF sleeper and a "charlatan".

"Well, we say to him and other EFF sleepers in the ANC, this only makes the members of the NEC, PEC (provincial executive committee), REC (regional executive committee) and branches more determined to unite the ANC and deliver services to the people of South Africa. We will ride this storm of accusations and counter-accusations," read the statement.

The MKMVA has called for Hanekom's immediate suspension.

In a statement, the association said there was no need for the party and Magashule to investigate the matter further, adding that it should be done during this weekend's NEC meeting. 

"The ANC cannot, nor should, any longer tolerate counter revolutionaries, wedge drivers and traitors in our ranks. MKMVA concurs with the ANC media statement that Hanekom is an enemy sleeper inside the ANC whose singular mission for a long time now has been to divide and destroy the ANC," the MKMVA said.

The NEC meeting also comes less than a week after Ramaphosa announced his intention to take a Public Protector report on judicial review.

The report included findings about a R500 000 donation to Ramaphosa's ANC presidential campaign, received from Gavin Watson, the head of services company African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa).

READ: Ramaphosa to take Public Protector's 'fundamentally flawed' report on urgent court review

The president said the ANC planned to discuss donations to all seven candidates who were vying for the party's presidency.

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