ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom. File picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC national executive committee has referred the matter of former tourism minister Derek Hanekom meeting with EFF leaders to oust former president Jacob Zuma to its internal structures for "further processing".

During a media briefing on the outcomes of the NEC meeting on Tuesday, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said the party top brass directed officials to look into the veracity of allegations against Hanekom after which a decision would be taken on how to handle the matter.

"Processing in the ANC doesn't mean making accusations without providing an opportunity for a person to give their side of the story. The accusations were made by a member of the opposition party [EFF], and the NEC directed us to look at these allegations by the EFF. This issue might go to the committee investigating the formation of small parties...and we should say that in no time did we say the committee is investigating the secretary general [Ace Magashule]. The committee is looking at any member of the NEC and ANC in general who might have had a part in the formation of other political parties," Duarte said.

Hanekom defended his meeting with EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee in 2017 when political parties, lobby groups and society took to the streets demanding that the embattled former president step down.

Some in the governing party came to his defense, saying the former cabinet member did what was good for the country at the time.

Magashule in turn penned a fiery statement soon after Hanekom's admission last week, labeling him a "charlatan" and accusing him of sowing divisions in the party.

Asked whether he withdrew his statement at the NEC meeting, Magashule said the press release was never discussed at the gathering.

African News Agency (ANA)