April 9 2011
The arrest of Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli has lifted the lid on a ferocious political tug-of-war raging in the ANC and the government in the run-up to the 2012 ANC elective conference.
The Sunday Independent has seen a 22-page document which allegedly emanates from a covert intelligence investigation into national Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele,
and makes sensational claims that the commissioner has ditched
President Jacob Zuma in favour of the future ANC leadership of Human Settlements Minister and ANC national executive committee member Tokyo Sexwale.
Sexwale, the undated document states, leads a group of ANC heavyweights who reportedly want to see Zuma deposed at the ANC elective conference next year.
They include Zuma’s long-time political ally and personal friend
Zweli Mkhize, who is also KwaZulu-Natal premier;
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema;
ANC national Treasurer Mathews Phosa;
ANC national executive committee members
Tony Yengeni and others.
A source has claimed there was tension between Zuma, Sexwale and those seen to be behind Sexwale, who were largely responsible for Zuma’s ascendancy to power.
The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that Mdluli “obtained a secret intelligence report detailing extensive allegations of corruption” against Cele. The Sunday Independent has seen this explosive report, which seems to focus on Cele’s alleged networks and activities while an MEC in KZN. It appears to have been authored prior to the ANC general council meeting which took place in Durban late last year.
Police spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha, also mentioned in the report, threatened legal action late last night against The Sunday Independent and sought commitment that details of the report would not be published.
The document’s authors claim that members of the anti-Zuma group, the “Mvela Group”, met at an unidentified venue in Estcourt in northern KwaZulu-Natal on January 23, where they reportedly plotted the demise of Zuma.
A few days later, Zuma’s unsavoury liaisons with
Sonono Khoza were reported in the media and, according to the report, Zuma was to have been forced to step down, or such a report was meant to “create conditions that would lead to his ‘recall’ by the ANC”.
“Dr Zweli Mkhize is closely associated with Tokyo Sexwale and they have a common interest, which is to get into a position of ultimate power. Tokyo is aiming to be the next president and he is doing everything and using everyone possible to discredit president Zuma (covertly). Zweli Mkhize is touted as his deputy president,” reads the report.
Their main targets are claimed to be Zuma, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, SACP secretary Blade Nzimande and KZN regional leader Willis Mchunu.
“Cele is also reported to have shifted his allegiance from president Zuma to Tokyo Sexwale through premier Mkhize. He (Cele) is said to have been covertly convinced by the Sexwale faction that his current deployment as DG of the police department is a slur, as his contribution to the Struggle should have warranted at least a cabinet post. Cele is reportedly uneasy about his future in a post-Zuma scenario and has therefore accepted the approaches of the Sexwale faction in order to secure his long-term prospects,” the document reads.
Mbatha said Cele had seen the report, but quickly pointed out: “The document does not relate to any known Crime Intelligence project, nor can it be traced to any known official file or investigation within the police service.
“The authenticity and reliability of the document is questionable. You should be circumspect before you ascribe the source of this document to Crime Intelligence or any authentic source within the South African Police Service.”
The spy wars mirror those experienced during the months leading up to the 2007 ANC Polokwane conference, when the intelligence agencies and other security organs were split on who would become the leader of the ruling party.
The ANC came under further strain when three former National Intelligence Agency officials – director-general Billy Masetlha, IT manager Funi Madlala and agent Muzi Kunene – were accused of fabricating a set of e-mails, later proved a hoax, claiming senior ANC leaders were plotting against Zuma.
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza would not deny or confirm the allegations in the report, arguing that the ruling party did not have any facts about the covert operation.
Khoza questioned Mdluli’s credibility and motives for releasing the report. He noted that it was usual that towards an elective conference, different groups in the party used allegations to position themselves ahead of others.
Sexwale’s spokesperson Mandulo Maphumulo said: “A desperate man on trial for murder is likely to say anything to rescue himself… and the ANC is too big for that.”
Mdluli is set to re-appear in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court where he has applied for bail in connection with the murder of Tefo Abel “Oupa” Ramokgibi.