Tag Archives: African National Congress

Mabuza defends Ramaphosa over de Ruyter appointment, SAA business rescue

Deputy President David Mabuza has come to the defence of President Cyril Ramaphosa on a number of recent controversial decisions.

Mabuza was speaking at the 4th special national conference of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in his capacity as African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President in Kempton Park on Tuesday.

He said the the decisions to appoint Andre de Ruyter as Eskom CEO and to place South African Airways (SAA) into business rescue were collective decisions, not Ramaphosa’s alone.

ANC deployment committee

Mabuza acknowledged that, as chairman of ANC’s deployment committee, he has been criticised over the “deployment of cadres into strategic positions.”

He said the deployment committee has decided to go on a “retreat” to discuss these challenges.

The Deputy President added, “The recent deployment of Eskom CEO is a case in point, and this is a decision that we took in the deployment committee, all of us.

“And people are now quiet. The only person that is being blamed is the President. The decision to deploy de Ruyter as the CEO is a decision that we took collectively.”

SAA business rescue

He added that the appointment, which some criticised as “anti-transformation,” should be seen as part of the ANC’s “programme” to build a nonracial society.

Mabuza told delegates at the conference that putting SAA into business rescue was similarly a collective decision. Some have criticised it as part of a plan to privatise SAA.

He said, “The decision to put SAA under business rescue is a decision that we took. It’s not a decision of the President.

“We arrived at that decision because of a number of considerations that we took. It is in the best interest of the workers in SAA and is in the best interest of the entity not to close down.”

Mabuza also apologised to the public and the business community for the ongoing load shedding.

“We’re going to tackle all the challenges faced by all our state-owned enterprises together. Some of the decisions that we’re going to take are going to be very unpopular decisions,” he said.

Ramaphosa: State will retain ownership of 'strategic' SOEs

President Cyril Ramaphosa has seemingly rebuffed claims that he’s planning to privatise state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

In his weekly newsletter to the nation on Monday, Ramaphosa was categorical that the state will retain ownership of all “strategic” SOEs.

He wrote, “As we do this work, we are clear that the state will retain ownership of all those state-owned enterprises that are strategic.”

Strategic equity partners

“This is so that these entities are able to perform the crucial economic and developmental functions that the market would not on its own be able to perform,” he added.

At the same time, Ramaphosa said government will seek strategic equity partners at SOEs “where necessary and where appropriate” to help raise capital and inject skills and technology.

The President said, “This must be done transparently and in a manner that strengthens – rather than weakens – the ability of the state to meet the development needs of the people.”

He said his decision to put South African Airways (SAA) into business rescue shows government’s commitment “to take all necessary steps – even drastic ones – to restore [SOEs] to health.”

‘None of our SOE’s is lost’

Ramaphosa insisted that despite the massive problems they face, “none of our SOEs is lost.” He added that “they can all be saved” through “extraordinary effort and, in some cases, tough decisions.”

Ramaphosa has come under criticism from some leaders who believe his decisions on SOEs, such as Eskom’s unbundling and SAA’s business rescue, are a prelude to privatisation.

Over the weekend, Sunday Independent quoted unnamed sources in the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) who reportedly accused Ramaphosa of planning to “sell off state assets to pre-selected private partners.”

Ekurhuleni Mayor and ANC regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina also seemingly criticised the President’s decision to put SAA into business rescue.

In a tweet last week, Masina wrote, “Restructuring, unbundling, business rescue = (privatisation) which is not ANC policy.”

On Sunday, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said Ramaphosa would highlight the state of SOEs in his “political overview” at the party’s NEC meeting being held in Benoni, Gauteng.

Masina takes aim at Cyril: 'Business rescue is privatisation, which isn't ANC policy'

Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina has seemingly criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to put struggling state airline South African Airways (SAA) on business rescue.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the decision in a media statement on Thursday morning, saying it would “restore confidence in SAA.”

In a Twitter post on Thursday, Masina said business rescue equals privatisation, “which is not African National Congress (ANC) policy.”

Fikile Mbalula defends Ramaphosa’s decision

Masina is also chairperson of ANC in Ekurhuleni, while Ramaphosa is also President of the ANC.

The Mayor wrote, “Restructuring, unbundling, business rescue = (privatisation) which is not ANC policy.”

However, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who is also an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member, came to Ramaphosa’s defence.

In a reply to Masina’s tweet, he wrote, “I think we are being sensational. Let’s have the real debate – when a company is bankrupt [and] does not generate profit, what do we do? Perpetual bailouts?”

Masina’s public broadsides at Ramaphosa

Masina has publicly criticised Ramaphosa on a number of occasions. In May, he criticised his appointment of Gordhan as a minister.

He tweeted, “The appointment of Pravin undermines the rule of law and makes mockery of our democracy. This is really out of order! I hope the NEC looks into this matter with urgency.”

He has also been outspoken in his criticism of the CR17 campaign fundraising for Ramaphosa’s 2017 ANC presidency bid, including penning an article on News24 about it.

Masina made headlines in 2017 when he declared he won’t serve under the leadership of Ramaphosa should he win the ANC’s presidential contest.

News24 reported at the time that Masina said if Ramaphosa won, “white people will lead South Africa.” However, he didn’t make good on this threat to resign as Ekurhuleni Mayor.

In August this year, Gauteng ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) threatened to take disciplinary action on members who publicly discuss internal matters. Masina is a member of the PEC.

“The PEC has impressed upon all its members, its structures across the length and breath of the province to desist from engaging publicly on internal matters and misrepresenting the organisation’s position on issues.

“All codes of conduct, disciplinary and related policies will be enforced as we drive the renewal process,” the PEC said.

Mashaba slams Makhubo's election: 'It was about personal & political benefit'

Former City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has slammed the election of Geoff Makhubo as his successor.

In a statement he issued on Thursday via Twitter, Mashaba said Makhubo’s election was all about “personal and political benefit” and not about Johannesburg residents.

Makhubo, the African National Congress (ANC) candidate, was elected on Wednesday with 137 votes ahead of Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) candidates.

”I share the anger’

He won the support of the smaller political parties that had previously been in a coalition with the DA. Mashaba lamented the fact that Johannesburg has been won back by the “corrupt” ANC.

He wrote, “I share the anger of the 5 million residents of Johannesburg that the work of turning the City around has been destroyed by the election of Cllr Geoff Makhubo.

“The fact that Makhubo was elected with the help of some members of the previous multi-party coalition government, together with a number of DA councillors, demonstrates everything that is wrong with our political system.

“The considerations were all about personal and political benefit, and not about the residents of Johannesburg.”

R30 million Regiments allegations

Mashaba cited allegations by investigative journalism unit amaBhungane that Makhubo was allegedly paid R30 million from Gupta-linked company Regiments in return for “influence.”

He said, “The DA of today is clearly not the DA that I joined – not when they support an allegedly corrupt person.

“As a result, instead of having a Mayor who fights corruption, Johannesburg will now have a Mayor who is allegedly corrupt.”

The former mayor hinted that he may still remain active in politics, saying, “This is why I cannot give up on the project of saving Johannesburg and South Africa.”

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who followed in Mashaba’s footsteps by resigning from the DA, also said he was “sad and angered” by Makhubo’s election.

He tweeted, “As a resident, I’m sad and angered at the events in the @CityofJoburgZA. The work had only begun.

“Our nation needs coalitions so that citizens from all walks can stand together to build an alternative and a future. Democracy requires change and accountability regardless of party.”

ANC dismisses state capture claims against Magashule as 'vilification campaign'

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.

ANC's Integrity Commission to NEC: Instruct Bongani Bongo to step aside

The African National Congress (ANC) Integrity Commission has called on the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) to instruct former State Security minister Bongani Bongo to “step aside.”

The Commission made the call in a statement issued on Friday, citing Bongo’s recent arrest and appearance in court for corruption and bribery charges.

It recommended that the NEC should “take swift and decisive action to restore the confidence of the public in the ANC’s stated position of zero tolerance to corruption.”

Accusations against Pravin Gordhan

“To that end, comrade Bongo should be instructed to step aside with immediate effect from all positions and activities of the ANC, including his deployment into public office by the organisation, until his name has been cleared of the criminal charges levelled against him,” the Commission said.

The Commission, which is chaired by ANC veteran George Mashamba, also took issue with Bongo’s public accusations against fellow NEC member Pravin Gordhan.

In an interview with eNCA, Bongo claimed that Gordhan orchestrated his arrest, alleged harassment by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and alleged poisoning.

“I never accused Gordhan, but he accused me of working with the EFF and the Public Protector and said I will see what will happen to me,” he claimed. Gordhan denied the claims, terming them “foolish.”

NEC ‘should rebuke and caution Bongo’

In its statement, the Commission said the NEC should “rebuke and seriously caution comrade Bongo against casting aspersions on other comrades, thus causing unnecessary tension and divisions in the ANC which in turn impacts negatively on its integrity in the public eye.”

It added, “The IC also recommends that comrade Bongo be advised that if and when he has any issue with any comrade, he should make use of the internal structures and processes of the ANC.”

The Commission’s statement comes on the back of another statement issued by ANC stalwarts Mavuso Msimang, Cheryl Carolus, Murphy Morobe, Thami Ntenteni, Siphiwe Nyanda, Aziz Pahad, Fazel Randera, Wally Serote and Sheila Sisulu.

They said invoking the principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty in defence of Bongo is a “disappointing signal of tolerance for unethical conduct.”

In several media interviews last week, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe invoked the principle and said Bongo would thus remain an ANC MP and chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs.

However, the stalwarts differed, “We do not pronounce on the guilt or innocence of former Minister Bongo, but the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] has charged him and he will appear in the High Court in January. Ignoring our own resolutions, taken by the highest structure of the ANC, is not an option.”

Bongo was released on a R5,000 bail and the case was postponed to 31 January, 2020. He is set to make representations to the NPA for the charges to be dropped.

His charges emanate from allegations that he attempted to bribe an evidence leader to derail a parliamentary inquiry into state capture at state-owned enterprises in 2017.

Bathabile Dlamini slams Financial Mail for ‘writing fake news’ about Lindiwe Sisulu

Former Minister Bathabile Dlamini has criticised BusinessLIVE and Financial Mail for “writing fake news” about Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Financial Mail published an editorial on BusinessLIVE‘s website on 21 November titled, “Fear Lindiwe Sisulu’s Ambition.”

The editorial criticised Sisulu’s appointment of Dlamini as chair of the board of the Social Housing Regulatory Authority.

‘Shenanigans of dividing the ANC’

It suggested that the appointment was aimed at promoting Sisulu’s ambition for the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC).

“If Sisulu is prepared to stoop so low to shore up her position, one can only fear for the country under her command. Such ruthlessly self-serving ambition should be checked. And soon,” Financial Mail wrote.

In a Twitter thread on Wednesday evening, Dlamini hit back at the two publications, accusing them of attempting to divide the ANC.

She added, “Even if it takes 100 years the world will know about you. BL, Financial Mail you attack women during 16 days. Continue writing fake news about Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. She owes you nothing. All your friends want is to grab water and human settlements budget.”

‘ANC not going to conference’

The former minister suggested that the publications are working with their “white monopoly capital friends” to discredit Sisulu by spreading lies about her.

Dlamini concluded, “Before I forget, the ANC is not going to any conference anytime soon and I don’t know what BL [and] Financial Mail take gossips of [comrades] that want to take over power from others but anyway the guilty are afraid [sic].”

Earlier in November, Mail & Guardian reported that according to an anonymous complainant, Sisulu is staffing her department with “loyalists” as part of a campaign to unseat Mabuza at next year’s ANC National General Council (NGC).

This was alleged to be her first step towards vying for the ANC presidency in 2022. The anonymous complainant reportedly lodged the allegations with the Public Protector and the Public Service Commission (PSC).

However, Sisulu’s department issued a statement dismissing the allegations, saying they are “are as silly as they are false.”

It added, “The National General Council of the ANC does not elect office bearers and there is no vacancy in the presidency of the governing party.”

EFF nominates Musa Novela to succeed Herman Mashaba as Joburg Mayor

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has announced Musa Novela as its candidate for Mayor of the City of Johannesburg.

In a statement on Tuesday, the party said it will nominate Novela on Thursday to succeed Herman Mashaba, who will formally resign on Wednesday.

EFF said, “The nomination follows the EFF decision that our Governance experience and understanding of the inner workings of government at all levels, and our correct manifesto priorities place the EFF as the most suitable organisation to lead the City of Johannesburg.”

EFF Johannesburg Chairperson

Novela is the Chairperson of the EFF in Johannesburg and its Caucus leader in the Council. He became a councillor after the 2016 local government elections.

EFF cited several “tremendous victories” achieved under his leadership, including insourcing of workers, opening of 24-hour clinics, and introduction of mobile clinics to cater for poorer communities and informal settlements.

Novela holds a National higher certificate in Local Governance from the
University of Johannesburg and a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry from Tshwane University of Technology, the party said.

It added, “The EFF collective leadership has utmost confidence in the capacity, commitment and political will of Fighter Musa Novela to lead the City towards jobs and service delivery.”

DA ‘will not support EFF candidate’

Last week, DA announced Fuzela Ngobeni as its candidate for Joburg Mayor. DA head of governance James Selfe said on Monday that his party will not support an EFF candidate.

He said, “Having consulted with our coalition parties, namely the IFP, ACDP, Cope, and FF+, we are confident that when the various caucuses toe their party lines, the EFF candidate will fall out, leaving the DA and ANC candidates.”

EFF’s decision to field Novela comes soon after it announced earlier on Tuesday that it will table an urgent motion of no confidence in Democratic Alliance (DA) Mayor for the City of Tshwane, Stevens Mokgalapa.

At a press conference last week, EFF leader Julius Malema suggested that the African National Congress (ANC) or DA should consider backing an EFF candidate for Mayor of Joburg in return for EFF support in Tshwane.

Malema said, “And we are not going to enter into coalitions. You lead Tshwane exclusively and we lead Joburg exclusively, so there is no interference with each other.

“If it is going to be done with the ANC, so be it. If is it going to done with the DA, so be it. We are going to field our candidate in Joburg.”

ANC has not yet revealed its candidate, although its chairperson in the greater Johannesburg region, Geoff Makhubo, is believed to be the preferred.

News24 reported that ANC could also be considering backing a candidate from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), believed to be Bonginkosi Dlamini, for the job.

ANC: Bongani Bongo is innocent until proven otherwise, will remain MP

The African National Congress (ANC) has said former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo “remains innocent until proven otherwise.”

Bongo was arrested on Thursday and appeared before the Cape Town magistrate’s court on corruption charges. He was granted R5,000 bail.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe told Power FM on Friday that Bongo will also remain an ANC member of parliament.

‘Charged, not convicted’

He said, “You’ll appreciate that Comrade Bongani remains innocent until proven otherwise. We’re also encouraged by his own cooperation with the whole process.

“He remains a member of parliament, continues to remain a member of the National Executive Committee [of the ANC]. He is only charged, he is not convicted.

“So from what I understand at this stage, he will continue to exercise and perform his responsibilities in the organisation.”

In addition to being an MP, Bongo is also the chair of Parliament’s portfolio committee on Home Affairs.

Allegations against Pravin Gordhan

Mabe could not be drawn to comment on Bongo’s allegations that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is behind his woes.

He said, “Well, these allegations are made by him. I’m sure he’s in a better position to clarify where he’s coming from. I wouldn’t know. I don’t have facts.”

On Thursday, Bongo told eNCA that he recently met Gordhan, who accused him of being involved in an alleged campaign by Public Protector and Economic Freedom Fighters against him.

“I never accused Gordhan but he accused me of working with the EFF and the Public Protector and said I will see what will happen to me,” he claimed.

Bongo alleged that soon after Gordhan’s “threat,” he was poisoned, pursued by the South African Revenue Service, and has now been charged.

He further claimed that according to information he has, “about eight of us” will be arrested, including ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule.

He claimed the plan was to “purge” those who had “opposed the current status quo” in the run-up to ANC’s elective conference in 2017.

However, Gordhan dismissed the claims as “foolish.” In a statement sent via his communications team, he said, “Mr Bongo must be hallucinating. The minister feels that he should look in the mirror; his statement is just nonsensical.”

Bongo’s charges emanate from allegations that he attempted to bribe an evidence leader to derail a parliamentary inquiry into state capture at state-owned enterprises in 2017.

His trial date was set for 31 January, 2020. However, he is set to make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority for the charges to be dropped.

ANC’s Bongani Bongo appears in court on corruption charges, gets R5k bail

African National Congress (ANC) MP Bongani Bongo has appeared at the Cape Town magistrate’s court on corruption charges.

The Hawks arrested Bongo, who is a former State Security Minister, on Thursday morning and arraigned him in court soon thereafter.

He is accused of attempting to derail Parliament’s inquiry into state capture at state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

R5,000 bail

The matter was postponed to 31 January, 2020 and Bongo’s bail was set at R5,000 with the condition that he must not interfere with state witnesses.

Ntuthuzelo Vanara, who was the evidence leader in the parliamentary inquiry, accused Bongo of trying to bribe him in October 2017 to derail the inquiry.

Parliament’s joint committee on ethics and members’ interests subsequently established a sub-committee to probe the allegation.

In June this year, Bongo lost a bid at the Cape Town High Court to stop the resumption of the investigation. His application was dismissed with costs.

He had argued that the sub-committee “had run out of time” and wanted it to stop hearing evidence and produce a report immediately.

‘Zuma ministers’

Former President Jacob Zuma appointed Bongo as State Security Minister in October 2017, but President Cyril Ramaphosa dropped him in his first Cabinet reshuffle in February 2018.

He is among the so-called “Zuma ministers” who caused a public outcry after being appointed portfolio committee chairpersons in Parliament. He is the chairperson of the portfolio committee on home affairs.

Others are Mosebenzi Zwane, who is the chair of the portfolio committee on transport, and Faith Muthambi, who chairs the portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs.

Both have had numerous allegations levelled against them in relation to state capture, which they have steadfastly denied.

In a recent interview with City Press, Bongo said being labelled “Zuma ministers” was unfair.

“We are not necessarily Zuma ministers; we are members of the ANC and have been elected as such,” he said.

« Older Entries