Former president Kgalema Motlanthe will lead an investigation into ANC secretary general Ace Magashule’s alleged role in the formation of new opposition party the African Transformation Movement (ATM).
News24 reports that three separate sources close to the matter confirmed that the investigation would take place.
The Sunday Times reported at the beginning of May that South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) general secretary Buyisile Ngqulwana had written a damning affidavit claiming that both former president Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule were involved in the formation of the party, which was established by church formations in 2018.
The new opposition party – believed to be comprised primarily of church leaders loyal to Zuma – was formed by the SACMM. It made headlines after its alleged attempts to get Zuma to join it, and after businessman Mzwanele Manyi became the party’s head of policy and strategy.
It has been alleged that the party was formed by the ANC faction aligned to former president Jacob Zuma in an attempt to weaken those aligned with President Cyril Ramaphosa within the governing party.
It has now been reported that the ANC top six have appointed the National Working Committee (NWC) to manage the investigation, with a source telling News24 that the decision to investigate the matter was made some time ago.
One source told the publication that the allegations against Magashule amounted to “treason”.
ATM gained two seats in parliament following the May 9 elections.
Party leader Vuyo Zungula dismissed the allegations that Zuma and Magashule were involved in the formation of the party following the Sunday Times story, saying there was no solid evidence.
“Not a single evidence backing these claims was ever produced, not a photo, meeting. minutes, voice note, nothing.
“This is a deliberate ploy to cast aspersions on them to feed the so-called ‘fight back’ or anti-Ramaphosa narrative which is desperately suggesting that the news parties like ATM and others are their project to weaken the ANC.”
According to Zungula, the “smear campaign” started when Mzwanele Manyi joined the party in an attempt to destroy the party.
“When servant Mzwanele Manyi joined us in January, even though it was evident he was joining an already established party, they created a perception that this party belongs to Manyi hence the headlines ‘Manyi’s ATM’. Again, this is another failed attempt by Stratcom-inspired media to import all the fake news and unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing by Manyi, purely based on his vendor-financed deal with the Guptas.”