ANC veterans pledge support for embattled Derek Hanekom

Derek Hanekom
Derek Hanekom
Image: Russell Roberts

ANC veterans have come out in support of under-fire NEC member Derek Hanekom, amid pressure to have the party act on allegations that he worked with the EFF to topple former president Jacob Zuma.

In an open letter to ANC officials, eight veterans pledged their support for Hanekom, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, Siphiwe Nyanda and former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ratlhodi. 

The open letter is signed by Cheryl Carolus, Sheila Sisulu, Ilse Fischer, Murphy Morobe, Fazel Randera, Mavuso Msimang,  Pallo Jordan and Aslam Dasoo.

It comes as the ANC is expected to discuss these allegations at its national executive committee meeting this weekend in Pretoria.

It also comes just a few days after Zuma accused former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi and former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda of being spies during his testimony at the Zondo Commission.

In the letter, the veterans also attacked ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who issued a statement slamming Hanekom and labeling him a “charlatan” and an “EFF sleeper agent”.

“We are sure members of the Top Six and the NEC agree that there must be a stop to attacking members who have dedicated their lives to our movement,” reads the letter.

They said that even former chief whip Jackson Mthembu was quoted as saying the ANC would work with the EFF prior to Zuma’s resignation.

“Whilst we do not know if comrade Derek supported that vote of no confidence, which was indeed decided on by secret ballot, we wish to extend our unequivocal support to comrade Derek and all comrades who may have supported the vote of no confidence.  They did nothing wrong,” reads the letter. 

They said Magashule’s statement could not possibly have been canvassed with the other officials.

“It is ironic that the statement labelling a fellow NEC member a 'charlatan', an 'EFF sleeper' and a 'wedge driver on a mission to divide the ANC' and 'form a new political party' is issued in the context of,  and we would like to emphasise, as yet untested, allegations that the secretary-general was involved in the formation of the ATM,

“However, members of the NEC and members of our movement would have seen and heard media coverage, of the secretary-general himself reassuring crowds that they should not be disheartened as President Ramaphosa will be there for only five years.

  “We have seen photographs of the former president of the ANC, at the height of the election campaign, saluting in concert with the BLF.  These are serious deviations still to be seriously examined,” reads the letter. 

They said they believed that tried and tested “comrades of our movement” like Hanekom, Gordhan and Nyanda were being singled out because of their commitment to historical values and principles of the ANC.

“We strongly urge the NEC to call on all members, irrespective of their position in our movement not to make unsubstantiated accusations especially when we all are aware of the potential consequences of irresponsibly labelling comrades as enemy agents and spies.”

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