The African National Congress (ANC) has dismissed the latest state capture allegations against its Secretary-General Ace Magashule as a “vilification campaign” against him.
On Monday, British non-governmental organisation (NGO) Shadow World Investigations released a report claiming it had uncovered “new evidence” of corruption and state capture in the Free State during Magashule’s tenure there as Premier.
It alleged that Magashule’s office bought computers at inflated prices – R3.8 million instead of R1.7 million – from a Gupta-linked front company called Sunbay Limited.
‘Attempt to tarnish Ace’s image’
The NGO further claimed the Free State government paid inflated prices for mobile medical clinics provided by Gupta-linked company Mediosa.
However, the ANC dismissed these claims in a statement on Tuesday, terming them as another attempt to tarnish Magashule’s image through the media.
The party said, “This so-called NGO is rehashing old allegations which have never been substantiated.
“The ANC does not see these allegations in isolation, but as part of a well-orchestrated and co-ordinated vilification campaign against out Secretary-General and to further fuel divisions.”
‘Whose agenda are they serving?’
The ANC rejected the allegations “with contempt” and asked Magashule “not to dignify these insults with a response.”
“It is not clear why this NGO would devote so much resources and energy towards pushing narrow political agendas by seeking to tarnish the image of some leaders. The question arises: Whose agenda are they serving?” the party asked.
It said “malicious campaigns” undermine freedom of expression and are “concocted by forces that are hostile to the national democratic revolution and that are hell-bent on sowing divisions within the ranks of the movement.”
The ANC said it stands “solidly” behind Magashule, adding, “Our unity and renewal project demands that we all stay vigilant against wedge-drivers.”
Shadow World Investigations is associated with former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein. It was formerly known as Corruption Watch UK.
It said it is prepared to present its report at the commission of inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
The inquiry is investigating allegations that the Gupta brothers – Ajay, Rajesh and Atul – masterminded “state capture” during the term of former President Jacob Zuma.