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ANC's Ace Magashule lambasts 'charlatan' Derek Hanekom

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has called former minister and ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom a charlatan and a "wedge-driver".

His remarks came after Hanekom on Wednesday confirmed that he met the EFF in 2017 to talk about removing former president Jacob Zuma through a vote of no confidence in parliament.

In a statement, Magashule said he was dismayed by Hanekom’s confession that he had several meetings with the opposition EFF to indicate that some ANC MPs would side with the EFF in a vote of no confidence.

“The ANC is working to unite its members and in our midst is Derek Hanekom, a wedge-driver and on a mission to divide the ANC. Indeed this charlatan is making his mark through his ownership of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation,” Magashule said.

He said when the ANC called for an open vote against Zuma, Hanekom and others demanded that the speaker of the National Assembly concede to a secret ballot.

“Hanekom had full access to air his acerbic views in the NEC of the ANC, he did so ad nauseam. He always spoke in an even, practised voice, linking all the bad publicity that the ANC has had to the accusations against former president Zuma,” the statement read.

The furore started when EFF leader Julius Malema disclosed on Tuesday that Hanekom worked with the EFF to remove Zuma.

“Today he calls us fascists, but Derek Hanekom plotted with the EFF to bring down President Zuma. The same goes with Solly Mapaila [deputy general secretary of the South African Communist Party] too.”

Malema went further, alleging that Hanekom was planning to form a new political party. “He even told us that if NDZ [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma] wins [during the 2017 ANC leadership battle], they are forming a new political party. And we have recordings to that effect.

"With Mapaila, there is no communist party. There is a faction of the ANC. We are not scared of them ideologically or politically.”

In response, Hanekom confirmed he met EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, but said there was nothing wrong with two MPs talking.

“People of different parties have coffee with each other all at time. He is making something big out of nothing,” he said.

Hanekom said the removal of Zuma was a matter that brought political parties and civil society together.

Magashule would not have it, though.

“The agenda of the EFF by their own admission as an opposition party is to displace the ANC, they work fearlessly to divide the ANC and have a number of sleepers in the ANC proactively ensuring that divisions in the ANC are deepened,” he said.

He further took a dig at Hanekom saying he did not have the capacity to form a new political party, but had shown “remarkable agility in his efforts to divide the ANC”.

“We will ride this storm of accusations, and counter-accusations. We will unite behind the leadership of President [Cyril] Ramaphosa and all ANC members of good faith and defeat the nefarious negative actions of Hanekom,” Magashule said.

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