South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to bring former head of state, Jacob Zuma, before a top-level African National Congress (ANC) meeting, which is set to ascertain details relating to an alleged presidential overthrow plot.
This latest revelation concerning the seething internal factional battles plaguing the ruling ANC was revealed in an exclusive City Press report, which cites trusted political sources involved with the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
Former president Jacob Zuma and friends
While simmering tensions within the ruling party have been well documented since the end of Zuma’s dubious tenure, the latest allegations surrounding a presidential overthrow plot have rattled the ANC to its very core.
Damning evidence implicates Zuma, and his inner party political affiliates, including ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule, in organising and attending clandestine meetings to discuss an alleged plot to have Ramaphosa unseated from his position as president, by challenging the elective outcomes of last year’s ANC National Conference.
The alleged plot, which was being spearhead by Zuma, also involves former premier of the North West province, Supra Mahumapelo, Women’s League (ANCWL) secretary-general, Meokgo Matuba, ANC Youth League (ANCYL) KwaZulu-Natal secretary, Thanduxolo Sabelo, and former South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson, Dudu Myeni.
Ace Magashule rubbishes rumours, says he is united with Ramaphosa
Magashule has admitted to meeting with former president Zuma, but has denied the rumours regarding a plot to overthrow Ramaphosa. The ruling party’s secretary general said:
“I did meet with former President Zuma. The meeting was about organizational issues and wasn’t the first time I meet with him. The meeting was in a public place and there was nothing secretive about it. Me and Comrade Cyril [Ramaphosa], we won’t allow any wedge drivers to come in between us… we are working together. We are united. We are working. It is progress. We are not focusing on rumours. We will stay focused we will continue to work together in the interest of the people of South Africa.”
President Ramaphosa fights back
Despite Magashule’s description of his amicable working relationship with Ramaphosa, the president wants answers on the alleged plot. Recently, during the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) National Congress, Ramaphosa fired back at political affiliates who were seeking to spread disunity within the ANC, saying:
“I’d like to say; those who will get into actions that disunite our people [and] divide our people must be exposed. They must be exposed, so that we know them. You must ask yourselves: those who want to divide the ANC, what agenda are they serving? What mandate are they serving? Because coming out of Nasrec, we only know one agenda, and that is the agenda of unity and renewal.”
Zuma ordered to appear before the ANC’s top six
While Zuma has been mum on the allegations, Ramaphosa is expected to summon the former president before the ANC’s top six to explain the meetings with Magashule and cohorts. This high-level investigation will be presided over by President Ramaphosa himself, as he sets to stamp his authority on the 90-member ANC NEC.
A party insider revealed information regarding the probe, which was discussed at the party’s most recent NEC meeting, held last weekend in Tshwane. The informant confirmed that the party was not unified in its plan of action, saying: “NEC members felt that the matter should be laid to rest; others said there was no need to investigate because the plot to unseat the president was created by the media. It was then resolved that the ANC national officials should probe the allegations and compile a report.”
Snuki Zikalala, president of the African National Congress Veterans’ League supported the party’s resolution to have Zuma account for his actions, saying:
“This is a very serious matter. It affects the economy and stability of the country. It is important that we sit down with him [Zuma] so that he tells us the truth.”
Pro-Zuma affiliates fail to squash investigation
It’s alleged that pro-Zuma backers attempted to squash the probe into the alleged overthrow plot. Yet, Ramaphosa supporters managed to outvote the former president’s allies, thereby resolving to investigate the matter.
While it’s unclear exactly when Zuma, along with his associates implicated in the now infamous Durban meetings, will appear before the ANC’s commission to explain themselves, it’s likely that Ramaphosa will be pushing for an early appearance, as to quell inner-party dissidence as soon as possible ahead of next year’s pivotal General Elections.