Axed Minister Derek Hanekom Backs Mantashe: Another attempt by President Jacob Zuma to mislead the Constitutional court was stalled on Wednesday by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe when he exposed a falsehood in the president’s papers tabled before the highest court.
Contained in the papers were claims by Zuma’s lawyers, saying that ANC top six members – Mantashe, Ramaphosa, and Zweli Mkhize had apologized to president Zuma during ANC NWC meeting for condemning his recent cabinet reshuffle in public.
Zuma presented the papers on Tuesday, April 25, and on Wednesday, April 26, Mantashe took to the media and refuted the allegations.
And while South Africans continue to search for the truth, former Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, who was also affected by the reshuffle has come out to defend Mantashe, affirming that he was at the ANC NWC meeting and that the trio didn’t apologize to the president.
Former Minister Derek Hanekom backed up Mantashe’s claims in a tweet, posted two days ago. He wrote ‘That is perfectly true. I was at the NWC meeting. There was nothing to apologize for’.
That is perfectly true. I was at the NWC meeting. There was nothing to apologize for. https://t.co/afZJ5J7Law
— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) April 26, 2017
Hanekom’s tweet also triggered reactions from South Africans, who condemned the number one citizen for deceiving the Constitutional court under oath.
@Derek_Hanekom so Mr Zuma is lying under oath in his Court papers, thanks Mr Hanekom for speaking up
— Andries H Matthysen (@andriesma7) April 26, 2017
@Derek_Hanekom Zuma is now lying again & promising the most gullible among us,so-called Radical-E-Transformation when he means him,family & fello Ministers
— Thabo Moetji (@thabomoetji) April 26, 2017
@Derek_Hanekom How will this influence the court,There is dishonesty in Zuma and His supporters,Not so long ago Bathabile filed a false affidavit.
— Serame More (@MoreSerame) April 26, 2017
— Alwyn Viljoen (@alwynpv) April 26, 2017
To be candid, the statement issued by Mantashe at a post NWC media briefing on April 5 did not refer to an apology.
It said: “The Officials have given to the NWC a candid report about their serious and difficult disagreement. They have further acknowledged that their public dissonance on the matter was a mistake that should not be committed again.”
Many interpreted the ‘mistake’, as the statement put it, as the ‘public dissonance’ between the ANC officials and not necessarily their criticism.
When Mantashe, in a subsequent interview, carefully revisited the matter, he claimed that the apology report is a lie. Nevertheless, he called on President Zuma’s lawyers to explain how they arrived at it.
The cabinet reshuffle apology saga was triggered by an application by the United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) to the Constitutional Court for a secret ballot during the motion of no confidence in the president.
In his affidavit, the party’s leader Bantu Holomisa referenced reports that Ramaphosa, Mantashe, and Mkhize had opposed the reshuffle.
President Zuma, who is the second respondent in the matter, however, stated in his answering affidavit that his decision to reshuffle the cabinet was done for rational purposes.
Where Mantashe had issued was where Zuma’s lawyers’ heads of argument alleged that he apologized.
The argument stated: “The applicant relies on the utterances attributed to the Secretary-General of the ANC, Mr. Gwede Mantashe, and the Deputy President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, regarding a perceived failure by the President to consult with ANC leaders and/or officials about changes to the cabinet. These utterances were in their capacity as ANC officials. In any event, these utterances cannot be relied on as the two subsequently publicly apologized for making them.”
Apparently, the disharmony between Zuma and the other senior ANC officials can no longer be hidden behind a semblance of unity.
It’s crystal clear that Mantashe and Ramaphosa are resisting to be cowed by Zuma and his supporters and this has left the relationship at the senior level of the ANC getting messier.