ANC mum on mo­tion of no con­fi­dence at NEC meet­ing

Gupta fam­ily says leak ‘to in­flu­ence ANC ex­ec­u­tive’

The Witness - - FRONT PAGE - CLIVE NDOU • clive.ndou@wit­ness.co.za

AS Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma fought for his po­lit­i­cal life at an ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (NEC) meet­ing that dragged on un­til late yes­ter­day evening, his KwaZulu­Natal back­ers were silent on the lat­est at­tempts to re­call him.

“It will be im­proper for us to com­ment about a mat­ter that is be­fore the NEC. We rather wait for a for­mal com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the NEC rather than to re­spond to me­dia reports,” said Thulisa Ndlela, the spokesper­son of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) eThek­wini re­gion — a rul­ing party struc­ture con­sid­ered to be one of Zuma’s strong­est sup­port bases.

ANC sec­re­tary­gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe has de­nied that the NEC was last night de­lib­er­at­ing on a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence that was tabled against Zuma dur­ing the two­day NEC meet­ing that be­gan on Satur­day.

How­ever, there are strong in­di­ca­tions that Zuma’s de­trac­tors within the rul­ing party’s high­est de­ci­sion­mak­ing body had tabled the mo­tion.

Re­li­able sources within the NEC have con­firmed that ANC pol­icy guru Joel Net­shiten­zhe on Satur­day tabled a mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Zuma.

Health Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi and his deputy, Joe Phaahla, and axed Tourism min­is­ter Derek Hanekom, are some of the NEC mem­bers who are said to have sup­ported Net­shiten­zhe’s mo­tion.

Satur­day’s mo­tion was the sec­ond that Zuma has faced since his elec­tion as ANC pres­i­dent in 2007. In Novem­ber last year, Hanekom tabled a sim­i­lar mo­tion, which Zuma sur­vived.

Since Novem­ber there have been more se­nior ANC lead­ers who have turned against Zuma as a re­sult of his re­la­tion­ship with the Gupta fam­ily. The Gup­tas are re­ported to have used their links to him to as­sert un­due in­flu­ence over gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and paras­tatals.

Sun­day news­pa­pers yes­ter­day pub­lished ar­ti­cles show­ing a flow of e­mails be­tween mem­bers of the Gupta fam­ily and se­nior gov­ern­ment lead­ers.

Some of the e­mails show how the Gup­tas had screened can­di­dates be­ing con­sid­ered for min­is­te­rial po­si­tions be­fore they could be handed the port­fo­lios.

By yes­ter­day evening there had not been any update from Man­tashe on the out­come of the NEC meet­ing that was be­ing held at the Saint Ge­orge’s ho­tel in Irene out­side Pre­to­ria.

De­spite Zuma’s staunch­est sup­port­ers, ANC KZN chair­per­son Sihle Zikalala and the prov­ince’s sec­re­tary, Su­per Zuma, be­ing part of the week­end’s NEC meet­ing, the party’s provin­cial lead­ers could not shed light on the event.

“I have not been briefed about the mo­tion of no con­fi­dence. I only saw it on news web­sites,” ANC provin­cial spokesper­son Mdu­miseni Ntuli said.

Zuma is also fac­ing an­other mo­tion of no con­fi­dence in Par­lia­ment after op­po­si­tion par­ties called for his dis­missal.

See more on the e­mail saga: page 2

CAPE TOWN — Demo­cratic Al­liance leader Mmusi Maimane yes­ter­day said leaked Gupta e­mails pub­lished in the week­end pa­pers amounted to con­crete proof of a “shadow crim­i­nal state in South Africa”, which is led by the Gupta and Zuma fam­i­lies. This after City Press and the Sun

day Times led with ar­ti­cles based on al­leged leaked in­ter­nal Gupta staff e­mails, which ap­pear to out­line the ex­treme in­flu­ence the Gupta fam­ily has over Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his as­so­ciates.

“To­day’s [Sun­day’s] reports re­veal writ­ten proof in the form of a string of e­mails which con­firm that South Africa has been cap­tured by the Gup­tas,” Maimane said in a state­ment.

He said the DA con­sulted with lawyers about tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against Zuma, the Gupta fam­ily and others im­pli­cated in the leaked e­mails.

Among the com­plaints the lawyers would in­ves­ti­gate were those of grand cor­rup­tion and the un­der­min­ing of state sovereignty, he said.

Eco­nomic Freedom Fighters com­man­der­in­chief Julius Malema, mean­while, tweeted that he had al­ready warned last year that Zuma wanted to “flee South Africa”.

This was in re­la­tion to one of the po­ten­tially most damn­ing emails, which in­cluded a draft let­ter from Zuma to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Gen­ eral Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Ac­cord­ing to City Press, the let­ter in­formed the prince that “my fam­ily has de­cided to make the UAE a sec­ond home. It will be a great hon­our for me and my fam­ily to gain your pa­tron­age dur­ing our pro­posed res­i­dency in the UAE.”

Malema yes­ter­day retweeted a tweet from April 10, 2016 which read: “We re­ceived un­con­firmed reports that Zuma wants to leave the coun­try and seek asy­lum in Dubai be­cause he doesn’t feel safe in the coun­try.”

Gupta fam­ily lawyer Gert van der Merwe said yes­ter­day he had spo­ken to the Gupta fam­ily and they de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

“They re­serve their right against these news­rooms who pub­lished these sto­ries,” he said.

Van Der Merwe said could not com­ment on the sub­stance of the e­mails as he had not seen them, but sus­pected they were part of a plan to in­flu­ence the ANC’s Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (NEC) meet­ing this week­end.

“We were never sup­plied with the doc­u­ments on which these ar­ti­cles osten­si­bly rely.

“We couldn’t ver­ify the au­then­tic­ity thereof,” he said.

If the doc­u­ments were ob­tained from an un­law­ful source, he said would be sur­prised if this was “bal­anced reporting”.

“Un­less these news­pa­per had the open mind­ed­ness to at least show me the doc­u­ments on which they rely, [then] that would have been fair to re­quest com­ment from me.”

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