ANC sends out mixed messages on VBS saga

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day

ANC NEC member Thoko Didiza has rubbished a statement by the party's deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte that the party has taken a decision that the Limpopo ANC leaders implicated in the VBS banking scandal must step aside.

Duarte told the SABC on Friday afternoon that Limpopo ANC leaders implicated in the VBS saga must step aside.

Sunday World can reveal that Didiza announced on the Limpopo PEC WhatsApp group chat that Duarte's assertions were a "mishap" that will be swiftly corrected by the national leadership.

The message, which Sunday World has seen, reads in part: "Comrades am sure you am (sic) all have seen the interview of DSG yesterday [Friday] which inferred on a decision taken on Limpopo viz a viz VBS matters. For the record, no such decision has been made. The officials will correct the mishap."

The two contradicting statements have not only created confusion among Limpopo ANC PEC members, but have also made it obvious that the VBS saga has divided the ANC.

A Limpopo PEC member, who did not want to be named because he is not allowed to speak to the media, fired a broadside at the NEC members, calling them "childish" and "petty".

"It is unfortunate that some leaders who are practising factional politics are using the VBS saga to score cheap political points," the ANC official said.

"It was clear that the NEC decided in its previous sitting that the VBS saga be referred to the national working committee (NWC) for deliberations and finalisations. The NEC position was communicated publicly by national spokesperson Pule Mabe and whoever is sending a conflicting message must just be ignored," he said.

Limpopo ANC provincial spokesperson Donald Selamolela declined to comment and referred us to Mabe.

Mabe said: "The NEC wishes to reiterate what it said in the [previous] statement that the VBS matter has been referred to the NWC for completeness and finality.

"The NWC is meeting in Mpumalanga on Monday (tomorrow) and those who are implicated will be asked to come and present their cases if needs be, and the outcome of that meeting will be communicated to the public."

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