Accusations of intimidation and the use of a “private army” made against ANC Mpumalanga Chairperson David Mabuza by ANC presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa are a “desperate attempt to rescue his campaign,” the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) has said.
The PEC on Wednesday issued a scathing statement responding to allegations made by Phosa after a video surfaced showing a group of people, alleged to be ANC members, firing gunshots in the air while among a crowd of people.
Phosa claimed that the people identified in the video were guilty of intimidation during the recently held Mpumalanga Provincial General Counsel (PGC) and disrupting Branch General Meetings (BGMs).
“That video was shot after some of the BGMs recently,” Phosa told eNCA.
In case you missed it: The circulating video of people shooting in the air taken in Mpumalanga. Former ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa claims some of the people on the video are members of DD Mabuza’s personal militia who’ve been disrupting Branch General Meetings. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/audtqFxC2H
— Mweli Masilela (@mwelimasilela) December 6, 2017
The ANC PEC has poured cold water on Phosa’s claims.
“As the PEC, we would like to put on record that, Mabuza does not have a personal militia and is protected by members of the South African Police Service, like all premiers and members of the executive. We further want society to know that he has no personal relationship with the figures shown firing gunshots in the circulating video,” provincial spokesperson Sasekani Manzini said.
Tensions between Phosa and the provincial leadership have also been exacerbated by his intention to take legal action to nullify the results of the PGC, which saw 223 delegates vote for unity in branch nominations last week.
Phosa’s provincial campaign co-coordinator Ronnie Malomane has accused Mabuza of being disingenuous with his unity vote.
“Then this person, you can’t find him in this side or that side. He’s neutral but at the same time, he’s preaching that there is unity,” Malomane said.
However on Wednesday, Manzini said the ANC had run a credible and successful PGC and accused Phosa and his cohorts of not following due process.
“The PEC and the dispute committee of the National Executive Committee (NEC) attended all disputes lodged consistent with the guidelines of the 54th National Conference. Phosa, or those who he claims to represent, seem not to have properly read and understood the guidelines and as a result did not submit a formal dispute with the PEC and chose to submit it on eNCA, SABC and the courts. As the PEC, we are confident that the process of BGMs we ran was meticulous and can pass any legal test,” Manzini said.
Last week, Mpumalanga nominated Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for ANC president with 123 votes ahead of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa who received 117.
The province however decided to, in majority, vote for an unknown candidate called “unity,” with 223 votes.
Mabuza insisted the move was an appreciation of unity in the party but may lose him favour with Dlamini Zuma because although she is nominated for president, it was a thin win above her contender Ramaphosa.
“I am willing to sacrifice myself for the sake of unity‚” Mabuza said.