President Cyril Ramaphosa has dared his opponents within the ANC to try removing him at the National General Council (NGC) next year, the Sunday Times reported quoting insiders.
The report came as the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) convened in Pretoria.
Ramaphosa reportedly told those gathered that he had a “date” with those who had plans to remove him using the NGC next June, and was not shaken by threats.
The NEC was also expected to focus on Derek Hanekom who was accused by former president Jacob Zuma on Twitter as being a “known agent.”
Zuma had been reacting to the news that EFF leader Julius Malema alleged that Hanekom had conspired with some to oust Zuma in a motion of no confidence in the National Assembly two years ago.
The motion was seen as an important moment in Zuma’s downfall. Some ANC MPs voted with the opposition, but the attempt did not succeed.
The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has meanwhile called for Hanekom’s immediate suspension after he admitted meeting the EFF.
In a statement Thursday, the MKMVA said there was no need for the ANC and its secretary general Ace Magashule to investigate the matter further, saying this should be done during this weekend’s NEC sitting.
On Wednesday, Hanekom admitted meeting EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee.
“I have said – not admitted – that at the time I met Gardee. His initiative, not mine. There is nothing with meeting a fellow MP, which is what we were at the time,” Hanekom said.
Later, after a Kader Asmal lecture in Sandton, Johannesburg, on the same night, Hanekom said his meeting with the EFF was of a common interest as it was during a “difficult time in South Africa’s history.”
Hanekom was labelled a “wedge driver” and EFF sleeper in an ANC statement issued by Magashule Wednesday night.
In another development, some ANC veterans penned an open letter to the so-called ANC Top Six and NEC Saturday, noting their great concern and alarm about Magashule’s public attack on Hanekom.
“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,” the letter read.
“Lastly, and most importantly, we wish to assert that the sequence of events that has unfolded this week, and attacks that preceded this on comrades Pravin Gordhan, Trevor Manuel, Maria Ramos and others, appear to be an orchestrated campaign to divert attention from corruption and state capture.”
The open letter is signed by Cheryl Carolus, Sheila Sisulu, Ilse Fischer, Murphy Morobe, Fazel Randera, Mavuso Msimang, Pallo Jordan and Aslam Dasoo.