Former president Jacob Zuma resorted to disclosing to all and sundry that some members within his own party “are spies” because he was forced into a corner and left with no option.
This is according to former North West premier and now chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on tourism Supra Mahumapelo, who added that he and those who have remained loyal to Zuma have been ostracised by the current party’s leadership.
Asked about the merits of Zuma’s allegations, Mahumapelo merely said whether the allegations were true of false was inconsequential, adding that what was paramount was that there were forces that had driven a seasoned leader to making such utterances.
He said as a result of the allegations that have been made against him, Zuma had come to the realisation that “he will depart from this life known as the person who failed the country, the ANC and the revolution. He will be remembered as someone who did not rise to the occasion and there will be sections of society who will judge him on that”.
Seeing that he “may not have the opportunity to respond [to the allegations if he continues to have the best interest of the party at heart], it’s fair for him to have taken the route that he has taken because it’s quite painful now in the ANC. There are some who seem to have licence to say anything and there are some who are not even allowed, for a moment, to express themselves”.
Mahumapelo gave himself as an example, saying: “I received a very incisive instruction from the leadership of the ANC to not talk to the media. I said to them: ‘But what if things are said about me, what do I do? Because almost every week there is something said about me somewhere and there is nobody to defend me,’” he said.
Zuma has faced heavy criticism from, among others, the SA Communist Party.
The party’s deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, said Zuma had, “without providing concrete evidence, recklessly and irresponsibly” labelled former minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi and former SA National Defence Force commander Siphiwe Nyanda as “spies”.
He said the former president’s testimony was aimed at diverting from the real task at hand, which was to rebuild the country after a decade of capture.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who graced the commission’s proceedings in support of the former president, was not as dismissive of Zuma’s claims.
He said such claims “should not be ignored”, particularly given the fact that in accordance with his own testimony “Zuma was at some point the ANC’s head of intelligence, who was privy to more than most”.
He said he had been a national executive committee member under the leadership of former presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Zuma and now Cyril Ramaphosa, “so I know some of the things which [former] president Zuma might be actually saying”.
Another Zuma ally in attendance, the four-day finance minister Des van Rooyen, speaking to City Press, called on the ruling party to investigate the claims being made by the former president: “We cannot be led by spies. The ANC should investigate these claims.”
Magashule also revealed that there were “some within the party who were already calling on the ANC to institute its own commission of inquiry” to ventilate, among other issues, the allegations that were made by Zuma and others at the commission. In light of these calls, Magashule said “the collective should make a final decision”.
The secretary-general said such open display of deep division being paraded before the Zondo commission did not bode well for the ruling party.
Mahumapelo said the toxic attitude towards the pro-Zuma faction could further manifest itself through more divisive testimonies from other aggrieved parties who are set to appear before the Zondo commission.
“I am among those who have been denied the right to express myself and I have explained to the leadership of the ANC in detail how post the party’s 54th Nasrec conference in 2017 people have met [and hatched plans against those who supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma].
“Monies have circulated, and I wonder when you guys [the media] are going to talk about people who confessed to having been given money”, causing havoc in Mahikeng.
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