Tried and tested comrades under attack – ANC Veterans League stands by Hanekom

2019-07-27 17:40
Derek Hanekom (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Derek Hanekom (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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There appears to be an orchestrated campaign against ANC cadres including Derek Hanekom and Pravin Gordhan to divert attention from corruption and state capture, members of the party’s Veterans League asserted in an open letter to the Top Six and National Executive Committee (NEC) on Saturday.

"Tried and tested comrades of our movement, including Comrades Derek, Pravin, Siphiwe [Nyanda] and others [have] been singled out and attacked. We believe that this is because of their commitment to the historical values and principles of the ANC and their unrelenting resistance to corruption and state capture. There can be no other logical reason," the letter signed by long serving members Cheryl Carolus, Sheila Sisulu, Ilse Fischer, Murphy Morobe, Fazel Randera, Aslam Dasoo and Mavuso Msimang, read.

"The ANC is not a club, nor is it a cult to be manipulated.  Those implicated, to whom we direct this message, should be in no doubt that any attack on comrades who have stood up against corruption and state capture is also an attack on other tried and tested veterans of the ANC.

"The NEC is called upon to defend these comrades at this time of peril for the ANC. This will be an important sign that our once-proud movement can be made whole again if you now act with the courage of your convictions and with your consciences. These comrades have shown the way," they said.

The letter was penned as the NEC meets at the weekend, with many expecting fireworks as factional battles play out.

Read - Fireworks expected at ANC's national executive committee meeting

The signatories "noted with great concern and alarm" the public attack on Hanekom by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule "responding to mischievous and untested revelations" by the EFF that he had "colluded" with its MPs to engineer a vote of no confidence in former president Jacob Zuma.

"If the correspondence is from the Office of the Secretary General, it regrettably continues to develop a perception within our movement that our organisation remains divided and factionalised. We are sure members of the Top Six and the NEC agree that there must be a stop to attacking members who have dedicated their lives to our movement," the letter reads.

They pointed out that before Zuma resigned in February last year, then ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu was quoted in the media as having said that the governing party would hold talks with the EFF in order to amend and support the 2018 motion of no confidence.

"Whilst we do not know if comrade Derek supported that vote of no confidence, which was indeed decided on by secret ballot, we wish to extend our unequivocal support to comrade Derek and all comrades who may have supported the vote of no confidence.  They did nothing wrong."

Magashule’s statement was issued within hours of Hanekom confirming that he had met with the EFF Secretary General and could not possibly have been canvassed widely with ANC leadership, the letter states.

Read - FIRST TAKE: Selective amnesia and why Derek Hanekom is a target

"It is ironic that the statement labelling a fellow NEC member a 'charlatan', an 'EFF sleeper' and a 'wedge driver on a mission to divide the ANC' and 'form a new political party' is issued in the context of - and we would like to emphasise - as yet untested allegations that the Secretary General was involved in the formation of the ATM. 

"However, members of the NEC and members of our movement would have seen and heard media coverage of the Secretary General himself reassuring crowds that they should not be disheartened as President Ramaphosa will be there for only five years.  We have seen photographs of the former president of the ANC, at the height of the election campaign, saluting in concert with the BLF.  These are serious deviations [which should] still be seriously examined."

It described Free State ANC Youth League and the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association issuing releases shortly after Magashule’s statement as "somewhat sinister".

Furthermore, it charged that Zuma’s assertion that Hanekom was a known enemy agent - after making similar claims about Nyanda and Ngoako Ramathlodi at the Zondo Commission – was "preposterous".

"We strongly urge the NEC to call on all members, irrespective of their position in our movement not to make unsubstantiated accusations especially, when we all are aware of the potential consequences of irresponsibly labelling comrades as enemy agents and spies.

"Lastly, and most importantly, we wish to assert that the sequence of events that has unfolded this week, and attacks that preceded this on comrades Pravin Gordhan, Trevor Manuel, Maria Ramos and others, appear to be an orchestrated campaign to divert attention from corruption and state capture.

"We believe that you, as members of the NEC must also stand shoulder to shoulder with them now, as we do, for the sake of our country and our movement."

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Read more on:    anc  |  ace magashule  |  derek hanekom  |  jacob zuma  |  politics

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