Fake Man­tashe let­ter used in campaign

CityPress - - News - SETUMO STONE setumo.stone@city­press.co.za

An ANC leader in the North­ern Cape has been linked to an elec­tion dis­in­for­ma­tion campaign that used the name of the gov­ern­ing party’s sec­re­tary­gen­eral, Gwede Man­tashe.

How­ever, the im­pli­cated ANC pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber, Rose­line Tyler, who is also the chair­per­son of the ANC Women’s League in Kim­ber­ley’s Frances Baard district, said she was be­ing un­fairly tar­geted be­cause she backed Premier Sylvia Lu­cas to be­come the first fe­male pro­vin­cial chair­per­son of the ANC.

This fol­lows the cir­cu­la­tion of a fake let­ter last week, which bears Man­tashe’s forged sig­na­ture and was al­legedly sent to pro­vin­cial ANC sec­re­tary Za­mani Saul, claim­ing that Luthuli House could dis­solve the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive over “dis­crep­an­cies” in prepa­ra­tions for the con­fer­ence to elect new pro­vin­cial lead­ers.

The con­fer­ence, which was ini­tially sched­uled to be held ear­lier this month, has been post­poned on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. Last week, it was moved back in­def­i­nitely, pend­ing a re­port from the task team that Man­tashe sent to the prov­ince to investigate com­plaints of mem­ber­ship rig­ging and ma­nip­u­la­tion.

The ANC in the prov­ince, said Saul, who is ex­pected to con­test Lu­cas for the po­si­tion of chair­per­son, had launched an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the fake let­ter, and that “in­ves­ti­ga­tions are at a sen­si­tive stage”.

Party pro­vin­cial spokesper­son Naledi Gaosekwe said: “We have been ad­vised by our le­gal team not to di­vulge any­thing on the mat­ter un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been fi­nalised.”

Tyler told City Press that the pro­vin­cial of­fice was yet to con­tact her re­gard­ing the let­ter, but she had picked up that some peo­ple were us­ing so­cial me­dia to spread ru­mours that she was be­hind the fraud­u­lent act.

She said the first time she saw the note was on a chat group re­lated to her re­gion in Frances Baard. She then shared it with mem­bers of her branch on another chat group, but later learnt that it was fake.

City Press has seen screen­shots of the con­ver­sa­tion in Tyler’s branch chat group, which shows a com­ment with her name on it that says: “Press re­lease is on Face­book. Check it [com­rades] and post it here. Vic­tory is ours”.

Tyler said she was an­gry that the com­ment and her pic­ture were cir­cu­lat­ing on Face­book be­cause this would cre­ate the im­pres­sion that she was part of the du­bi­ous plot, or that she knew about it.

“I asked the ad­min­is­tra­tor of our branch chat group to re­move me and, when they did not, I removed my­self,” she said.

She said that, in ANC con­sti­tu­tional meet­ings, she had spo­ken openly by say­ing that processes were be­ing rigged go­ing into the pro­vin­cial con­fer­ence to favour Saul.

“I told them that I am not afraid of any­one and I speak jus­tice and truth to power in the ANC”.

Those back­ing Lu­cas claimed they were be­ing purged from ANC processes by re­gional sec­re­taries sup­port­ing Saul.

City Press had also seen copies of sus­pen­sion let­ters, dated Fe­bru­ary 8, that were sent to five branch mem­bers in a ward in the ZF Mg­cawu (Uping­ton) re­gion.

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