Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom File photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA).
Facing a barrage of questions after he was outed by Julius Malema as one of the foot soldiers of the ANC who were engaged in a clandestine effort to oust former president Jacob Zuma from the presidency, Derek Hanekom says he has nothing to explain.

Responding to whether the revelations should also see him being dragged to the commission probing allegations that there are party members who helped to form smaller breakaway parties ahead of the May general elections, Hanekom said he has nothing to answer for.

“No, this had nothing to do with forming any party. There is nothing to explain. There is nothing wrong with members of different parties meet(ing) with each other. He (Malema) initiated it,” Hanekom said in response.

But Durban-based political analyst Xolani Dube of the Xubera Institute said since the ANC national executive committee (NEC) was going to meet this weekend, it should discuss the matter and because there was already a commission which was established for such a matter, it should be probed.

“They should discuss this matter, they should. It has become interesting that even those who claimed to be working for unity had a second plan to work against this unity. So, it is a clear indication that what we were told was not an honest thing,” Dube said.

Dropping the political bomb on Tuesday, Malema claimed that Hanekom and Solly Mapaila, first deputy-general secretary of the SACP, lobbied them to help to oust Zuma and even shared a list of ANC MPs who were prepared to vote with them.

But Hanekom has since denied that he shared names with the EFF, saying he only met them and challenged them to produce an audio recording of the meeting. He said he had no idea why Malema suddenly on Tuesday decided to make the confidential meeting public.

Not to be left out, the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) said Hanekom, as a senior member of the party who should know better, must be expelled for working with the enemy.

Veterans’ spokesperson Carl Niehaus said it would make its voice heard on this matter as Hanekom breached Section 23 of the ANC’s constitution by co-operating with the enemy.

Defending Mapaila, SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said he was assigned by the party to lead a public plan to force Zuma out of office and that resulted in him meeting people of different affiliations.

“This open public campaign was a principled programme, and the SACP strongly condemns any suggestion that it was either a conspiracy or a hidden conspiracy,” Mashilo said.

Asked whether this matter would be discussed when the NEC met over the weekend in Pretoria, ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said the agenda of the body was prepared in advance and it could not be changed by media reports and current political events that mainly favoured the opposition.

“The ANC’s focus for now is unity and renewal. We are also preoccupied with fighting poverty and creating jobs,” Mabe said.

Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela said the former president would not publicly comment on the matter and would prefer to deal with it through the internal structures of the governing party.

Political Bureau