ANC Secretary general, Gwede Mantashe has refuted claims that television and radio personality, Shaka Sisulu had ever worked for the ruling ANC as was earlier alleged.
Sisulu is an ANC member, activist and the grandson of ANC icon Walter Sisulu. He responded to recent reports that he had spearheaded a covert African National Congress (ANC) unit aimed at discrediting the opposition.
In court papers, Sihle Bolani, who owns a public relations company said the so-called covert unit, later known as the Media Advisory Team, produced fake posters to discredit the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters and created at least one platform to disseminate pro-ANC content under the guise of news.
The posters were never printed. Had they been, it would have been in violation of the electoral code, which is a criminal offence. Spreading misinformation or fake news also violates the code.
But, in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the television and radio personality admitted to have briefly worked with Sihle Bolani but refuted claims that it was for a so – called covert operation to discredit opposition parties.
Mantashe confirmed this saying Shaka Sisulu never worked for the ANC and that the party is addressing the issue of people raising funds using its name.
Bolani said the campaign also planned to recruit social media “influencers” who would help disseminate posts in favour of the ANC.
She also claimed that the ANC owes her R2.2-million for her contribution to the campaign. But ANC general manager Ignatius Jacobs responded in court papers saying that Bolani never signed an agreement with the ANC.
Mantashe, who was speaking on the sidelines of the ANC’s National Executive Committee meeting in Centurion on Wednesday, denied Bolani’s claims saying it did not sanction any such unit and doesn’t owe her money.
He, however, revealed that Ignatius Jacobs, the party’s general manager who reports to him, agreed to pay nearly R1 million and facilitated a payment of R100,000 to Bolani without his knowledge.
When asked if the ruling ANC party will take actions against Jacobs, he replied by saying the party is working on trashing the case which has had the General manager implicated.
“Shaka Sisulu is not an employee of the ANC, there are many people who will go and say we are doing this on behalf of Luthuli house,” he said, suggesting that there are people who have used the ANC’s name when asking for donations.
When there is an election campaign, many people volunteer to do some work on social media platforms for the ANC and to regulate this, the party will develop a social media policy, Mantashe said.