ANC stalwarts hit back at 'morally bankrupt' Jacob Zuma

Siphiwe Nyanda intends to cross-examine ex-president while Cheryl Carolus blasts him

21 July 2019 - 00:00 By CAIPHUS KGOSANA and SIBONGAKONKE SHOBA
Jacob Zuma addresses supporters in Pieter Roos Park, near the Zondo commission venue in Parktown, Johannesburg, after the first day of proceedings at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Jacob Zuma addresses supporters in Pieter Roos Park, near the Zondo commission venue in Parktown, Johannesburg, after the first day of proceedings at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Image: Alon Skuy

Former minister Siphiwe Nyanda has written to the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture requesting to cross-examine former president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma alleged during his testimony before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo that Nyanda had embraced an askari named "Ralph" at the instruction of the apartheid police. This, he said, proved that the former SANDF chief was an apartheid spy.

Nyanda told the Sunday Times he would not pose "sweetheart questions" to Zuma when he is given an opportunity to cross-examine him.

"I will cross-examine him in the manner that people who make such accusations need to be cross-examined. How did Zuma allow Mandela to appoint a person who is what he says he was as the chief of the South African National Defence Force?"

Nyanda said Zuma's allegation insinuated that he was complicit in the murder of his own brother, Zweli, one of the freedom fighters that Ralph was responsible for selling out to the apartheid forces.

I will cross-examine him [Zuma] in the manner that people who make such accusations need to be cross-examined
Siphiwe Nyanda, former minister

Nyanda was one of the most trusted ANC leaders in exile. Like Zuma, he was close to late SACP general secretary Moses Mabhida. So trusted was Nyanda that he was appointed chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe when Chris Hani vacated the position.

An angry Cheryl Carolus, who was ANC deputy secretary-general between 1994 and 1997, said it was clear that Zuma would do or say anything to protect himself.

"This man is an immoral, amoral, spineless thug. I worked with Jacob Zuma over the years. I feel quite betrayed by that level of trust that people like myself, comrade [Joe] Nhlanhla. I think that people like comrade Nhlanhla must be turning in their graves at these allegations."

She said even were his allegations true, it was unforgivable of him to have kept quiet knowing there were enemy agents that had infiltrated the highest structures of the ANC and its government after 1994, and that he said or did nothing about such crucial information.

Former communications minister General Siphiwe Nyanda wants to cross-examine former president Jacob Zuma over spy claims.
Former communications minister General Siphiwe Nyanda wants to cross-examine former president Jacob Zuma over spy claims.
Image: ALON SKUY

"If he genuinely thought these people were [agents], to actually allow them to become more and more embedded only so he can bank that in his back pocket for his own future personal devious ends. How morally bankrupt is that? You allow your movement, its leadership and the entire people of South Africa to get undermined because you are thinking, 'I'm keeping this information so that one day if we become enemies, I can use it against you'. It's sick," said Carolus.

She said the ANC should ask Zuma to present proof of his allegations, failing which the party should haul him before its disciplinary committee.

Carolus said Zuma's behaviour at the Zondo commission gave credence to rumours that surfaced back in the '80s and '90s that he could have been a double agent working for apartheid spy agencies.

"This is obviously a man who seeks to hide his own bankruptcy and the many questions which, by the way, have hung over his head about his level of collusion with the intelligence forces on the other side."

Carolus said she was convinced Zuma wanted to collapse the party and take it down with him. "The hard fact is yes, in his agenda, in his conscious agenda, he will take the ANC down because he's so immoral, he's so amoral."

Jacob Zuma spent his second day before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo at the commission of inquiry into state capture on July 16 2019. Zuma answered some questions well, while other answers were questionable.

Another ANC veteran, Popo Molefe, also rubbished Zuma's allegations that secret meetings were held in 1990 at which a plot was hatched to take him down. He said after the first national conference of the ANC in SA, its national working committee (NWC) had the job of appointing heads of subcommittees of its national executive committee.

"It did so taking into account the fact that the majority of ANC members had been inside the country. Its structures had to reflect the integration of all of them. It also had to reflect the ethnic diversity of the movement. There was no plotting by the NWC."

Some of the appointments made by the NWC at the time included Mosiuoa Lekota taking over from Joe Nhlanhla as head of intelligence, Trevor Manuel as head of the subcommittee on the economy, himself as elections campaigns director and Pallo Jordan as head of its communications subcommittee.

Molefe said because Ramaphosa had been elected secretary-general, it became logical for him to lead the negotiating team of the ANC. "In any event, it is ridiculous to imagine a conspiracy could consist of so many people who succeeded to keep it secret for 28 years."

Former president Jacob Zuma has been in the hot seat at the State Capture Inquiry this week. We decided to use this time to speak to some of his supporters.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.