Top secret US/SSA intelligence report reveals ANC heavyweights’ plan to undermine Ramaphosa

The US flag hanging half mast at the US Embassy in Pretoria, which serves as the co-ordinating mechanism for the US Mission in South Africa. Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo

The US flag hanging half mast at the US Embassy in Pretoria, which serves as the co-ordinating mechanism for the US Mission in South Africa. Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo

Published Apr 28, 2024


US Intelligence and State Security Agency (SSA) report claims that businessman Edwin Sodi and ANC heavyweights Zandile Gumede, Nomvula Mokonyane, David Mahlobo, Mosebenzi Zwane, Andile Lungisa and Des van Rooyen led efforts to undermine president Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency.

The report, dated November 5, 2020, titled “Top secret: US interest in ANC party dynamics”, commissioned by the US intelligence and political office operating at the country’s offices in Pretoria, concluded that the above-mentioned individuals coordinated and led a strategy to undermine Ramaphosa’s presidency and delay the Zondo Commission until it runs out of time.

According to the report, the intelligence brief focused on US interests as collected by prominent ANC spies working with the US Political Office at the US Embassy based in the City of Tshwane, which serves as the coordinating mechanism for the US Mission in South Africa and which includes the US consulates based in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

The report claimed that the prominent leaders of the ANC, Free State ANC leadership and businessmen with ties to former President Jacob Zuma and former ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, recruited and rented crowds to have Ramaphosa removed.

“Pro-Magashule business people from the Free State (not identified) are coordinating support for both Magashule and Zuma and have funded structures such as the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) and the ANC Women's League.

“The ANCYL was invited by former ANC spokesperson Carl Niehaus to join a campaign to support Magashule. Edwin Sodi, a controversial businessperson with links to Magashule, furnished the Free State ANCYL with R2.8 million early in 2020 to fund their operations.

“This campaign is coordinated and led by key Zuma allies, including: Carl Niehaus, Nomvula Mokonyane (former Minister of Environmental Affairs), David Mahlobo (current Deputy Minister of Human Settlements and former Minister of State Security as well as former Minister of Energy), Super Zuma (former KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Secretary and current Chief Whip of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature), Andile Lungisa (former ANCYL Deputy President), Mosebenzi Zwane (former Free State Human Settlements Member of the Executive Council [MEC]), Des van Rooyen (former Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and former Minister of Finance) and Zandile Gumede (former Executive Mayor of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality).

“Former President Zuma’s son appears to be bankrolling these efforts as he regularly donates money to the Jacob Zuma Foundation. It is speculated that the source of Zuma’s son’s funds may be the Gupta family,” read the report.

In conclusion, the US intelligence stated that the intelligence it presented was intended to sensitise the Ramaphosa government on the vulnerability that foreign intelligence services (FIS) continue to exploit effectively.

“These entities have unrestrained access to covert information and the only effective remedy is the promulgation of Protection of State Information Act (POSIA) as this will neutralise current intelligence-gathering operations by foreign state and non-state actors,” it stated.

Contacted for comment on behalf of ANC leaders implicated in the report, ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said her party would not comment before reading the report.

“This appears to be a very complex matter, and the position of the ANC is that we have to check the veracity of the report and take a decision moving forward,” she stated.

Gumede and Lungisa said they would not comment. Sodi did not respond to the publication’s requests for a comment.

Mahlobo stated that he belonged to no faction within the ruling party.

“My focus is on serving the ANC and not the other way around. I am loyal to my country and the party I have continued serving for a few years now,” he said.

Magashule said he was not surprised that his former comrades in the ANC were spying on him.

“I have always known of their treasonous activities. We know they’re used as enemy agents working for the US intelligence from within the ruling party. This is why even today they have cooked unfounded charges just to keep us distracted while they sell this country to their handlers,” said Magashule.

Zuma’s spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, two weeks ago said due to the political nature of the matter, Zuma’s political party, the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MK Party), was better positioned to comment.

However, MK Party spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela did not respond to questions from Sunday Independent, which also sought a response from van Rooyen, however, his new political home, the MK Party, did not respond.

The publication of the intelligence report was enabled by the Supreme Court of Appeal following Independent Media’s court victory against the State Security Agency – allowing the report to be published.