Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma
Johannesburg - The ANC has distanced itself from reports linking former president Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to the formation of the African Transformation Movement (ATM).

Sunday reports suggested that Zuma and Magashule were linked to ATM in an affidavit deposed by South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) general secretary Buyisile Ngqulwana in his application to the Electoral Court to deregister ATM.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the governing party did not create any other political party.

While Duarte said she had not read the affidavit, she said they would look into it after the elections.

“I can assure you that the ANC has not sat around anywhere and said ‘lets form an opposition to ourselves’. How illogical is that? We have not done that,” she said.

ANC acting national spokesperson Dakota Legoete said they would not dignify the reports linking Zuma and Magashule to the ATM.

“For now we want to deliver the mandate of the ANC,” Legoete said.

“We are confident as the ANC that our mandate is going to be renewed. Now, these ones, we treat them as ­tabloid. Until after the elections, we can’t entertain anything that will ­defocus us,” he said.

The ATM was formed and registered with the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) last year.

According to the reports, Ngqulwana said in the affidavit the SACMCC was formed in December 2017, after the ANC Nasrec conference, to become “the defender of state president JG Zuma”.

The affidavit reportedly said Ngqulwana had had “consultation sessions” with Zuma at Nkandla and Magashule at Luthuli House regarding the launch.

He is quoted as saying the SACMCC formed the African Transformation Congress (ATC), not to contest elections, but its application as a political party was rejected by the IEC because there were many parties that used the word “congress”.

The affidavit reportedly said Ngqulwana claimed Magashule advised that the word “movement” be used instead of “congress”.

ATM leader Vuyo Zungula said the reports were meant to create a perception that Zuma and Magashule were an invisible hand behind the ATM, even though they both campaigned very hard for the ANC.

“This is a deliberate ploy to cast aspersions on them to feed the so-called ‘fight-back’, or anti-Ramaphosa narrative, which is desperately suggesting that the new parties like ATM and others are their project to weaken the ANC,” he said.

Political Bureau