Kgalema Motlanthe 'declines' to probe Ace Magashule

Kgalema Motlanthe.
Kgalema Motlanthe.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

An investigation into whether ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule or any other party member were involved in the formation of rival parties to neutralise the ANC before general elections is yet to get off the ground.

With only 30 days left before the party's ad hoc committee is expected to submit its findings to the national executive committee (NEC), Sowetan has learnt that former president Kgalema Motlanthe has turned down the offer to lead the investigation team.

The formation of the investigation team, which includes party stalwart Frene Ginwala and advocate Fezeka Magano, was announced last month.

The ANC said the team had only 60 days to complete its work and report back on its findings. But Sowetan has established that the investigation is yet to start as the party is still trying to find Motlanthe's replacement.

The probe was announced after allegations emerged that Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma helped form African Transformation Movement (ATM).

Motlanthe is said to have chastised the party for going public and announcing him and other members of the team without consulting them first. Insiders said Motlanthe said he was busy with other engagements and was therefore not available for the job.

"Apparently, he had raised concerns about being overstretched," said an insider.

The ANC would, however, not confirm this. Spokesperson Pule Mabe said if Motlanthe had rejected the offer, the matter will be discussed at the NEC meeting schedule for the end of the month.

"We will receive all the reports and update on various tasks that were to be undertaken. If Kgalema is unavailable, the relevant authorities in the organisation will have been accordingly advised," he said. "The NEC is the most appropriate platform to process such matters and accordingly convey a position out to the public."

Ginwala confirmed to Sowetan last week - almost a month after she was appointed - that she had agreed to join the team.

"Well let me tell you, first of all, we are not far enough into the inquiry to do anything. So, I won't be making any comment on it except that it is taking place as you know because the ANC issued a statement and I've agreed to join the inquiry.

"I will be part of it and that's it. It's too early to comment on it, unless Kgalema is commenting on it," said the former speaker of the National Assembly.

Motlanthe's office said he was "unavailable for any media inquiries".

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