The South African Communist Party suspected that there were remnants of apartheid-era spies working to destroy the party long before claims that Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza was a spy surfaced.
The party’s provincial secretary, Bonakele Majuba, said in Mbombela today that the party was not alleging that Mabuza was a spy, but he called for a thorough and extended investigation to include all suspected spies within the ANC-led tripartite alliance.
“We’ve always believed that some remnants are still active and in full-swing operations. They were trained to be anticommunist and their daily bread is planning to liquidate the [SACP] and kill its leaders especially in Mpumalanga,” said Majuba.
The relationship between the SACP and the ANC in the province has been cold in recent years. The SACP has accused Mabuza of alienating the party and failing to consult it on key decisions such as provincial executive appointments and even the spy allegations.
The SACP has also lamented the fact that its members were assassinated, intimidated and removed from government jobs for their stance against corruption.
The assassinated members include former Mbombela municipality speaker Jimmy Mohlala, who was killed in 2009 while exposing corruption in the R1.2 billion Mbombela stadium tenders. Other party members, including Majuba, hired bodyguards after receiving death threats.
“The alliance is dead and that’s not a secret. Mabuza could have discussed the spy allegations with us if it was functional. It is against this background that we take these allegations [against Mabuza] very seriously and call on the president [Jacob Zuma] to heed the call for a commission of inquiry,” said Majuba.
“The investigation must be thorough and not be limited to [Mabuza]. People who were spies had handlers and it’s possible that they still handle them today and that’s why there’s corruption in government,” he added.
Mabuza called a press conference yesterday and confirmed that he was suing former Mpumalanga premier and ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa for R10 million for alleging that he was a spy.
Phosa found information accusing Mabuza of having been an apartheid spy and passed it on to ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
Phosa has denied that he said Mabuza was a spy and said he was doing his duty as an ANC member by forwarding the information to the leadership.
Mabuza said he had asked President Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry and had also asked State Security Minister David Mahlobo to investigate.
Mabuza said the litigation and inquiry would also assist him to clear his name on allegations that he was linked to a Mozambican hitman called Josh who was allegedly hired to assassinate fellow comrades.
He said the spy allegations were intended to destabilise the ANC structures and cause Mpumalanga people to lose confidence in him.