Last week ANC national executive committee member Derek Hanekom found himself in the centre of a storm after confirming that he did meet with leaders of the EFF amid plans to oust former president Jacob Zuma in February 2018.
This opened a front for his detractors to attack him outside and inside the party and the matter was eventually discussed at the party’s NEC meeting which concluded on Monday.
The party’s deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte, said the matter referred to its internal structures for "further processing".
According to African News Agency (ANA), Duarte said the party’s 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 was quoted as saying.
With the party having already established a commission to probe allegations that some party members worked with the opposition prior to the May 8 general elections, could Hanekom find himself appearing before it?
Hanekom insisted on Wednesday to Independent Media that there was nothing wrong with members of parliament meeting and having discussions. He said Malema has claimed to have several meeting with other ANC members and referred further questions to the ANC.
Spokesperson of uMkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) Carl Niehaus, who spoke out on behalf of the association and asked the ANC to expel Hanekom when the news broke out, said now that the matter has been referred to the office bearers, out of respect of internal decisions they would not comment any further.
He said the office bearers would be the one who will decide which structure would look at the matter.
Durban-based independent political analyst Thabani Khumalo said he believes that the matter should be heard by the same commission hearing Zuma and Magashule’s matter as the allegations are the same.
“The commission that is already there is the right one to hear the matter of Hanekom as the allegations are the same. They all allegedly worked and aided opponents of their party. Other people who should appear before the commission are those who shared the stage with groups that were against the ANC,” Khumalo said.