African National Congress secretary general Ace Magashule says the ANC’s top six is content with the explanation he has given them, following claims that he was part of a secret meeting where a plot to remove President Cyril Ramaphosa was discussed.
The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Magashule, ANC Women’s League secretary general Meokgo Matuba, ousted North West ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo and ANC Youth League KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo were part of a secret meeting to discuss such a plot.
But Magashule responded to a question News24 posed at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters yesterday and said the claims came up during the party’s top six meeting on Monday.
“We had an officials meeting. I engaged on this matter and I think we are fine with the fact that I met (former) president Zuma,” Magashule said.
The secretary general said he would engage with party members and alliance partners, who were not satisfied with denials issued by the ANC over the past few days and who felt there was more to the story.
ANC national executive committee members Jackson Mthembu and Derek Hanekom were among those who called for an investigation into the claims.
In addition, leader of labour federation Cosatu Bheki Ntshalintshali said, although he had heard the denials, he felt there was more to the claims.
“I had to clarify certain things and there was also engagement and advice as to how we should move forward and deal with matters pertaining to the organisation,” explained Magashule.
He also said that the meeting was not secret.
“(There was) no problem with meeting (former) president Jacob Zuma. No problem at all. We did not meet at a secret place. (We) met at a busy hotel where people are all over,” said Magashule.
Slamming the plot report, Magashule said this was not the first time he had met the former president.
“This was not the first time (I had a) meeting with (fomer) President Zuma,” Magashule said in an interview with the media yesterday.
He said there was no “plot”, and that only the media claimed there was. He also said he never denied meeting with Zuma.
Magashule also said in the interview that he would be willing to testify before the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture. The Herald.