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‘Covert plot’ haunts Jacobs

Politics
Ignatious Jacobs – the former Gauteng MEC for education and roads and transport – is in a bitter war to keep his job at the ANC headquarters, following damning allegations of his involvement in an ANC “war room”.

Last Tuesday, Sihle Bolani, a public relations expert, launched a R2.2 million lawsuit against the ANC in the high court in Johannesburg, alleging in her urgent application that the party had failed to pay her for her involvement in the ANC’s covert campaign.

According to reported court documents, Bolani said she was part of a team which set up an ANC war room to produce fake EFF posters, produce a news site and a chat show, and used a network of social media “influencers” to influence voter sentiment towards the ANC - without revealing its hand.

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PR consultant Sihle Bolani

Bolani implicated Jacobs; a senior ANC member, Joseph Nkadimeng; and late Struggle veteran Walter Sisulu’s grandson Shaka Sisulu as part of that team. They were supposed to raise R50m to dig up dirt on the EFF and DA.

The court however, ruled that the matter was not urgent, prompting the ANC to distance itself from the alleged covert operation.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe later told journalists on the sidelines of the ANC’s national executive meeting on Thursday that his party was not aware of the project.

He also said Jacobs, who is working in his office as general manager, did not have permission to conclude that alleged deal.

Mantashe said the ANC was going to investigate the matter internally.

But while the party was reportedly busy with its internal process, a national Sunday newspaper produced secret recordings of all the implicated ANC-linked people, including Jacobs, allegedly discussing their plot.

Mantashe announced yesterday that Jacobs would be hauled before a disciplinary committee of the ANC, and he appealed to the media to give his party time to deal with the matter internally.

“We are appealing to you to give us space. Please allow us space to deal with this matter. It’s a serious matter. If there are recordings and other evidence, we will deal with that in a disciplinary process,” he said.

Political Bureau

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