Former president Jacob Zuma isn’t surprised that plans to oust him are finally being made public.
The former president has long been claiming that there was a coordinated attempt at discrediting him and tarnishing his name. And this week, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema corroborated Zuma’s claims by confirming that EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee and ANC national executive committee member Derek Hanekom had met to plot a way to oust the former president.
Zuma, who took to social media platform Twitter, said the revelations came as no surprise to him and called Hanekom “a known enemy agent”.
“I am not surprised by Julius Malema’s revelations regarding Derek Hanekom. It is part of the plan I mentioned at the state capture commission. Derek Hanekom is a known enemy agent,” read the former president’s tweet.
The former president claimed that there was a coordinated attempt at discrediting him and tarnishing his name when he gave testimony before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture last week.
He alleged that there were three – two foreign and one local – intelligence organisations tirelessly working towards “assassinating” his character and plotted his demise.
Zuma claimed that these attacks on his good name had spanned a period of 20 years and had in recent times manifested in ANC members working as spies to bring him down.
On Tuesday Malema lent some credibility to Zuma’s allegations when he, addressing supporters outside the North Gauteng High Court, said his party had worked with the South African Communist Party’s deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila and Hanekom to oust Zuma through a motion of no confidence.
Malema was at court to support Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in her matter against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan was challenging the implementation of Mkhwebane’s remedial actions against him.
Both the communist party and the former tourism minister subsequently confirmed Malema’s utterances, with the former saying that the notion to have Zuma removed was not a conspiracy or a secret, but that it was public information.
Hanekom confirmed that he had had meetings with Gardee several times to discuss “ways to oust” Zuma.
In 2017 Zuma survived a motion of no confidence in his presidency following a two-hour debate and lengthy voting process where in a secret ballot, 198 MPs voted against the Democratic Alliance’s bid to remove Zuma, and 177 voted for it.
In a statement released by the ruling party’s secretary-general Ace Magashule on Wednesday night, addressing Hanekom’s admissions of having met with Gardee, Magashule called him “a wedge driver on a mission to divide the ANC."
The statement also emphasised how the party was “dismayed by its national executive member’s confession."