ANC members want ‘own commission’ after Zuma’s allegations

ANC members want and internal commission after Zuma's allegations this week. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
ANC members want and internal commission after Zuma's allegations this week. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Tuesday marked only the second day of former president Jacob Zuma’s testimony before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry in to State Capture and already some within the governing ANC are scrambling and calling on the party’s leadership to institute its own commission of inquiry.

The reason they want the commission is “to ventilate some of the serious allegations being aired by the former first statesman.”

Addressing the media during an adjournment at the commission’s proceedings, ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule said: “There are people who are saying let’s have our own commission because the ANC has created this mess but this can not be an Ace Magashule decision, it has to be a collective.”

When asked what his personal thoughts were on the former president’s accusations of party members and calling them spies, Magashule said he would not like to be drawn into such arguments but hinted that there could be truth to the accusations.

“There have been things reported on this so I don’t know why the media is acting like you haven’t [heard] this before. Zuma was the former head of intelligence for the ANC so there were other things that he might have been privy to that some of us were not,” said Magashule.

This comes after the Zuma started his testimony on Monday and labelled former public service and administration minister, Ngoako Ramatlhodi – who accused him of auctioning his executive authority to the Gupta family – “a spy recruited while he was a student in Lesotho”.

Zuma also insinuated there we “many within my own organisation” who have been hell-bent on assassinating his character and his person.

He gave details of a plot to kill him in March this year during the Maskandi fill-up Moses Mabhida Stadium event in Durban.

“The plan to kill me in Durban was detailed and involved many people – some even brought from outside the country,” he said.

The individuals brought in were “suicide bombers”, Zuma claimed, and were meant to carry out the assassination during the Maskandi show.

“This matter is bigger than what meets the eye,” said Zuma.

Magashule revealed that Zuma had approached party leaders on Friday “at Luthuli House to say he will be appearing before the commission and said he will be saying somethings that may not sit well with the ANC.”

The secretary-general questioned “why journalists act like this is news when such allegations have surfaced before.”

“There is reporting that seek to paint Zuma as a liar, but some of us who have been in the ANC for long enough and served under Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Zuma and now Cyril Ramaphosa may have more knowledge into such matters,” said Magashule.

He urged the media to “not only focus on one business family (the Guptas)” but to widen their scope and “investigate other businesses that do business with government.”

“I have been in government before, be it at a provincial level, but I know what takes place. There are other companies that benefit immensely from government,” he said.

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