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ANC takes swipe at Gwede Mantashe after his Zondo commission jibe

ANC chair Gwede Mantashe arrives to testify at the commission of inquiry into state capture, accompanied by deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, head of the presidency Zizi Kodwa and Krish Naidoo, who was acting as the party's legal adviser at the commission.
ANC chair Gwede Mantashe arrives to testify at the commission of inquiry into state capture, accompanied by deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, head of the presidency Zizi Kodwa and Krish Naidoo, who was acting as the party's legal adviser at the commission.
Image: Masi Losi

The ANC has taken a veiled swipe at its own national chair, Gwede Mantashe, for taking shots at the state capture inquiry after it made damning findings against him.

Mantashe on Wednesday fired arrows at the Zondo commission, accusing it of making findings against him based on assumptions instead of facts.

It was on this basis, Mantashe told journalists, that he believed the commission’s chairperson, acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, had erred in finding that investigating authorities may find a prima facie case against him should they dig deeper.

Mantashe said this was why he was taking Zondo to court seeking a judicial review to set aside and invalidate the findings that relate to him.

At the briefing at his government offices in Pretoria, Mantashe cautioned the commission not to get caught up in ANC internal fights.

But on Thursday, the ANC, without naming Mantashe, said that as much as it understood individual members of the party wanting to exercise their legal rights to review the commission's findings, this must not detract from the party’s principled stance to support the commission.

Said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe: “The ANC notes and respects the right of individual members of the organisation to exercise their legal and constitutional rights and remedies in respect of the commission’s findings and recommendations against them. This must not detract from the organisation’s principled support for the commission and its work.”

Mantashe is among ANC leaders who are implicated after the release of three instalments of the Zondo commission report. Others are  ANC NEC members Nomvula Mokonyane and Thabang Makwetla, as well as ex officio member of the NEC, the scandal-prone former president Jacob Zuma.

As far as Mantashe is concerned, Zondo found that there was a possibility that he might have breached provisions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca) when he received Bosasa-funded security upgrades at his three properties.

Mantashe fell short of dismissing the finding was tantamount to a fishing expedition since it passed on the matter to law-enforcement agencies with a qualifier that there was “a reasonable suspicion” that something would stick.

The ANC said its support of the Zondo commission’s work was unwavering, hence the establishment of a task team to process its reports as they relate to ANC leaders.

“We reiterate the position of the ANC as outlined in the 110th anniversary statement of the national executive committee released on January 8 2022: 'The work of the commission is vital to the national effort to place the era of state capture behind us and ensure that such events are never allowed to happen again.'

“The ANC will support government in effecting the measures required to eliminate conditions and conduct that enable state capture and systemic corruption. As the ANC, we will engage with our structures and members to ensure sufficient understanding of the contents and findings of the commission.

“We will put in place mechanisms to process any parts of the commission report that pertain to the organisation, its deployees or members and to consider how the commission’s recommendations can help to enhance the fundamental renewal and rebuilding of our movement,” said Mabe.

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