Ace Magashule has been accused of assisting and endorsed the formation of ATM (African Transformation Movement) ahead of the general elections in May. File picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The ANC’s national working committee has announced the establishment of a special committee to probe the alleged role of ANC leaders in the formation of smaller parties ahead of the recent general elections.

This comes after allegations that ANC secretary general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma had assisted and endorsed the formation of ATM (African Transformation Movement), which secured two seats in the National Assembly in the May elections.

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe is set to head the probe, which is expected to last two months.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “At its regular sitting on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, the NWC resolved to establish the ad hoc committee, to be led by ANC stalwarts, comrade Kgalema Motlanthe and Frene Ginwala, and assisted by Advocate Fezeka Magano."

The allegations implicating Magashule and Zuma were made by Buyisile Ngqulana, the former secretary-general of South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC), the faith body that helped form the ATM.

Ngqulana is currently leading a grouping within the SAMCC in a bid with the Electoral Commission of SA to deregister the ATM as a political party as he claims the party had been hijacked by political motives which differed from the one envisioned by the faith body.

He also indicated that he would be willing to assist the ANC's probe and testify against Zuma and Magashule.

According to the terms of reference, the Motlanthe inquiry is directed to “investigate, inquire into and determine the veracity of the allegations that members of the ANC were involved in the formation and/or mobilised support for some of the smaller parties, purportedly to reduce the ANC’s majority in the 2019 general elections".

The Motlanthe inquiry has also been empowered to recommend disciplinary action against any ANC member should prima facie evidence exist in relation to the allegations against them.