Magashule's phone was not bugged - Ramaphosa

2019-05-03 09:05
Ace Magashule. ( AFP)

Ace Magashule. ( AFP)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule acted "out of deep concern and anger" when he claimed his cellphone was bugged.

Ramaphosa was speaking during a round table discussion hosted by DSTV's latest 24-hour news channel Newzroom Afrika on Thursday with veteran journalists JJ Tabane, Cathy Mohlahlana and Thulasizwe Simelane in an exclusive hour-long discussion.

Also read: DStv's new channel Newzroom Afrika to launch later this week with familiar faces

The three journalists put the president through his paces, covering a wide range of issues from his reflections of 25 years of democracy, jobs and the youth as well as Eskom and ANC renewal, unity and corruption.

Towards the end of the discussion, Ramaphosa was asked about the latest claims Magashule made during the ANC’s Freedom Day celebrations in the Free State that his phone, together with his deputy's, Jessie Duarte, were bugged, accusing the state of being involved.

"There is no phone that has been bugged," Ramaphosa answered. "He could well have suspected, but there is no phone that is bugged."

Ramaphosa continued: "I believe he reacted out of deep concern and anger, but as a party we called him in and said, 'you are a leader of the ANC and these matters need to be discussed inside the organisation' and he [Magashule] conceded to this."

On Wednesday, News24 reported that the Inspector-General of Intelligence office confirmed that an investigation into Magashule’s claims "is under way".

Inspector-General Dr Setlhomamaru Dintwe told News24 that Magashule had lodged a complaint on Monday.

READ MORE: Inspector-General of Intelligence confirms a preliminary probe into Magashule's phone tapping claims

Dintwe said the office still needed to determine whether it would be able to probe the claims and is conducting a preliminary investigation to establish and clarify the facts of the claims.

"The first issue is to check whether the matter falls within our mandate and the second issue is to determine whether we will continue with the investigation," he said.

At the same time, Ramaphosa was asked whether he was comfortable - given the allegations against Magashule in the book, Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture – that Magashule still served in the party and not been asked to "step aside" while investigations continue.

"He has been advised to deal with the allegations and he is indeed dealing with the matter. Let us wait until the whole process unfolds," said Ramaphosa.   

Read more on:    anc  |  ace magashule  |  cyrila ramaphosa  |  politics

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