- Jackson Mthembu has called on the ruling party to urgently probe claims of a plot by a group led by Jacob Zuma to oust President Cyril Ramaphaphosa
- Mthembu said the alleged plot was an attempt to ensure the ANC suffered a disastrous result at the 2019 election
- A Sunday newspaper reported that Zuma had met with key allies in Durban last week to discuss ongoing plans to remove Ramaphosa as ANC president
The African National Congress’ (ANC) chief whip in Parliament, Jackson Mthembu, has called on the ruling party to urgently probe allegations of an alleged plot led by former president Jacob Zuma to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mthembu said those persons involved in the alleged plot aimed to ensure that the ruling party suffered an electoral disaster at the 2019 general election. He added that it was also a way to undermine the spirit of unity and renewal which Ramaphosa has been leading since taking control of the ANC in December.
Mthembu said it was unfortunate that the current ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule had been linked to the alleged plot which was first reported by the Sunday Times newspaper.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Mthembu said in a statement that the alleged plot was an attempt to reverse the progress which the ANC had made in the fight against corruption and state capture.
The ANC’s official response to the plot has been to deny that such a plot exists and deflect the allegations of the plot as nothing more than overzealous reporting on behalf of journalists.
The Sunday Times reported that Zuma had met with several key allies including ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, Supra Mahumapelo, ANC Women’s League secretary-general Meokgo Matuba, Youth League KZN secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo and Dudu Myeni in Durban last week.
The report revealed that at least two meetings were held, one on Thursday and another on Wednesday, both meetings allegedly featured Zuma, Mahumapelo and Magashule.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement reported on by News24.com that the ANC would not dignify the baseless claims of the Sunday Times with a detailed response.
Mabe said the report was filled with lies and had no foothold in reality and that the ANC rejects the claims of an alleged plot as nothing but shameless gossip. He added that the ANC further rejected attempts to link Magashule’s office to the plot as nothing more than an attempt to harm the integrity of the office of secretary-general.
TimesLive.co.za reported that instead of addressing the details of the article Matuba attacked the journalists behind the article and accused them of abandoning their moral code in a bid to destabilise the ANC and its associated leagues such as the ANCWL which is due to hold its own crucial elections in the near future.
Sabelo also denied having taken part in any meeting and said he enjoyed a good professional relationship with Ramaphosa which he would not put in jeopardy by attending such meetings.
Meanwhile, Thesouthafrican.com reported that while the ANC’s official line might be to deny and refute that the meetings took place several key ANC officials have already appeared to contradict those denials.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu confirmed that meetings had taken place as reported and at the reported locations but he denied having any additional information about these meetings and said any questions should be directed to Magashule.
The latest alleged plot is yet another indication of the deep divisions which still exist in the ANC after the last elective conference. It also reveals just how tenuous Ramaphosa's grip on power within the ANC remains.
Speculation linking Zuma to either the formation of a new party to challenge the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal or to overthrow Ramaphosa as president of the ANC have refused to die down in recent months.
Zuma has repeatedly stated that he has no plan to leave the ANC and has even on occasion embarked on door-to-door campaigning for the ruling party in his home province where remains immensely popular.
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