- The fact that participants of the so-called secret Zuma meetings felt the need to deny that the meeting took place is proof that something sinister is going on
- This is the view of political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana
- The meeting between Jacob Zuma, Ace Magashule, Supra Mahumapelo and several others has cast a shadow over the unity project within the ANC
The mere fact that participants of the so-called secret Zuma meetings in Durban initially felt the need to deny that the meeting even took place points to something sinister going on. That is the view of political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana.
The meeting between former president Jacob Zuma, Supra Mahumapelo, Ace Magashule, and the leaders of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has set tongues wagging about a possible plot to overthrow Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the ANC.
The initial meeting is thought have been a precursor to a larger meeting featuring representatives from various provinces. The second meeting is thought to have been attended by Zuma allies Dudu Myeni and Andile Lungisa.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Magashule was a staunch supporter of Ramaphosa’s opponent Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the ANC’s leadership battle. He was elected as ANC secretary-general at the same conference.
Speculation and rumours of a split or leadership challenge have persisted almost since Ramaphosa’s first day in office at Luthuli house despite the party preaching about unity and bringing together the various factions in the party.
Briefly.co.za reported on Monday that Magashule had been summoned to explain his presence at the meeting to the ANC’s top six leadership. Senior party leaders were left with more questions than answers after Magashule’s initial media briefing about the meeting.
Citizen.co.za reported that the ANCYL refused to comment on the nature of the meeting or why its provincial secretary Kwazi Mshengu attended but expressed its concern over any alleged plot to overthrow Ramaphosa.
The league said any such plot would be counterproductive to the unity project which the ANC had embarked on after its elective conference.
The ANC’s alliance partner and staunch Ramaphosa backer Cosatu has called on the ruling party to investigate the matter. The trade federation said the ANC could not simply allow the matter to go unchallenged.
Magashule has provided contradictory explanations of his appearance at the meeting, he initially denied being party to the meeting but quickly changed his tune when confronted with photographic evidence.
Magashule later admitted that he attended the meeting in his personal capacity and it had no bearing on ANC business. He once again contradicted himself by later saying nothing sinister had occurred at the meeting and he had discussed ANC operation issues with the other attendees.
Magashule admitted he was aware of several ANC branches who were preparing to challenge the validity of the party’s elective conference.
Zuma has not made any official statement personally or via his official spokesperson about the meeting. The former president has always maintained that he would remain a loyal servant of the ruling party for as long as he lives.
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