Man­tashe evades ques­tions in PE on ‘dirty cash’ claims

The Herald (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - Hen­drick Mphande and Zine Ge­orge mphan­deh@ti­soblack­

JETTING into Nel­son Man­dela Bay yes­ter­day to ad­dress the chaos that erupted at the ANC’s pro­vin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence ear­lier this month, Gwede Man­tashe fobbed off ques­tions about al­leged se­cret pay­ments to Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and “dirty cash” fund­ing his for­mer wife’s cam­paign to re­place him as party leader.

This as Zuma led a team to the Dr WB Rubu­sana area in East Lon­don, where he met Buf­falo City ANC lead­ers, while Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa went to the Amath­ole re­gion.

Trea­surer-gen­eral Zweli Mkhize was as­signed to the Joe Gqabi re­gion, while Man­tashe was de­ployed to Nel­son Man­dela Bay.

Asked about the ex­plo­sive al­le­ga­tions in The Sun­day Times at the week­end that self-con­fessed smug­gler, fraud­ster and money laun­derer Adri­ano Maz­zotti was a con­trib­u­tor to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s cam­paign, Man­tashe was eva­sive. “I speak for the ANC,” he said. “If that per­son was fund­ing the ANC, I would be re­spond­ing.”

When it was pointed out that Dlamini-Zuma was a mem­ber of the ANC, Man­tashe said: “There are many mem­bers of the ANC. Pa­trice Mot­sepe is a mem­ber of the ANC.”

The Maz­zotti al­le­ga­tions are con­tained in jour­nal­ist Jac­ques Pauw’s book, The Pres­i­dent’s Keep­ers, which he quoted ex­ten­sively in his front­page ar­ti­cle in The Sun­day Times.

The book ex­plores the life of flam­boy­ant cig­a­rette man­u­fac­turer Maz­zotti and his links to Dlamini-Zuma.

Pauw also claimed that Zuma failed to sub­mit a tax re­turn for his first four years in of­fice – which Zuma de­nied yes­ter­day – and that for a few months into his pres­i­dency, Zuma was paid R1-mil­lion a month by a se­cu­rity com­pany.

Pauw claimed fur­ther that Zuma owed mil­lions of rands in fringe ben­e­fits tax be­cause of up­grades at his Nkandla home­stead.

He al­leged that se­cret pay­ments were also made to other mem­bers of the Zuma fam­ily, in­clud­ing the pres­i­dent’s son Ed­ward.

Man­tashe yes­ter­day fobbed off all ques­tions re­lated to the al­le­ga­tions in the ar­ti­cle.

How­ever, he was frank about the prob­lems which emerged at the elec­tive con­fer­ence in East Lon­don last month.

“You must re­mem­ber there was an ANC con­fer­ence in the province which be­came very chaotic and vi­o­lent,” he said.

“Hav­ing re­ceived the re­port of the con­fer­ence and the re­port of the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee [PEC], and the con­cern by a group of com­rades who feel many wrong things hap­pened at that con­fer­ence, we thought of talk­ing to the branches of the ANC.”

The con­fer­ence saw for­mer ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Os­car Mabuyane wrest power from Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle to be­come the party’s new pro­vin­cial chair­man.

It is be­lieved Nel­son Man­dela Bay was one of the re­gions that did not at­tend the con­fer­ence, but Man­tashe said he had not asked why this had hap­pened.

The con­fer­ence was char­ac­terised by de­lays and vi­o­lent clashes that left 28 peo­ple in­jured, while a fac­tion that sup­ported Ma­su­alle claimed bo­gus del­e­gates were al­lowed to par­tic­i­pate and vote.

Yes­ter­day, hun­dreds of ANC mem­bers gath­ered at the Vista cam­pus in Mis­sion­vale, where they had a closed ses­sion with Man­tashe and other ANC lead­ers and branches.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia af­ter­wards, Man­tashe – who was ac­com­pa­nied by Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries Min­is­ter Bheki Cele – said: “I will only be sat­is­fied if all the re­ports [of the con­fer­ence] are put to­gether and then I will make a de­ter­mi­na­tion.”

The visit to the Eastern Cape by the ANC’s top lead­ers fol­lows com­plaints lodged by Ma­su­alle and his sup­port­ers about the le­git­i­macy of the events lead­ing to the elec­tion of Mabuyane and his ex­ec­u­tive.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said the vis­its to the re­gions would be fol­lowed by a meet­ing in East Lon­don to­day be­tween the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers and the PEC.


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