Jacob Zuma is fueling factionalism within the ANC by accusing some of his comrades of being enemy agents, said NUM President Joseph Montisetse. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - Former President Jacob Zuma is fuelling factionalism within the ANC by accusing some of his comrades of being enemy agents.

This was a warning by National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) President Joseph Montisetse.

Paying tribute at the funeral of businessman Gavin Watson this week, Zuma alleged that the party was still infested with enemy agents who during the liberation struggle collaborated with the apartheid regime. 

Zuma claimed that those spies, who are now handled in a foreign country he did not mention, were currently killing progressive leaders of the ruling party. This was a repeat of similar claims he made when he appeared before the state capture commission last month.

“They (apartheid) handed over their agents with their files, the majority of them to a particular country so that they would continue to erode our freedom and to undermine the government so that they would claim the ANC is failing to run the country,” Zuma told mourners at Watson’s funeral in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Rubbishing Zuma’s claims, Montisetse said such claims were not genuine.

“If anyone has this, he must put it through structures,” said Montisetse was speaking to Independent Media on the sidelines of the NUM special conference, which started on Wednesday and ending on Friday.  

“Comrade Nelson Mandela, when he wanted progress, said we must not be suspicious of each other, we must move forward, we leave the things of the past and concentrate on transformation,” said Montisetse.

He said the continuation of vilifying other comrades was unhealthy for the revolution. He said Zuma’s conspiracy theories were due to infighting with the ANC. 

“People have grouped themselves into different factions and they try by all means to eliminate each other, but in the process it is the organisation that is suffering.

“We believe that this is done because of advocacy of factionalism,” said Montisetse. 

The High Court in Durban had on Friday found Zuma to have defamed former tourism minister Derek Hanekom when he tweeted that the latter “is a known enemy agent”. 

Judge Daya Pillay ordered Zuma to apologise to Hanekom and remove the tweet within 24 hours and also pay the legal costs.

Questions were sent to Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela who promised to respond after discussing Montisetse’s allegations. He later did not answer his phone after repeated calls.    

Political Bureau