South Africa: ANC Integrity Commission Likely to Clear Gwede Mantashe

President Cyril Ramaphosa being sworn into office by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on May 25, 2019.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe will most likely be cleared by the party's integrity commission when it hands over its report to Luthuli house early this week, sources told News24.

Mantashe reluctantly appeared before the commission with party deputy president David Mabuza on Friday, party spokesperson Dakota Legote confirmed to News24.

News24 reported on Wednesday Mabuza had requested that his swearing in as a member of the National Assembly be postponed following allegations that he had brought the party into disrepute.

The decision followed an ANC integrity commission report, tabled at the party's special national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Monday.

"The deputy president made the request in light of a report by the ANC Integrity Commission in which he is alleged to have prejudiced the integrity of the ANC and brought the organisation into disrepute. The deputy president has indicated he would like to have an opportunity to address the integrity commission on these allegations," an ANC statement read.

Sources told News24 that Mantashe, who was flagged in the report along with 21 other members including ANC Womens League president Bathabile Dlamini, was at first reluctant to appear before the commission but was later persuaded. Legoete confirmed to News24 that the rest of the 20 members will start appearing from Sunday until Monday morning.

Own accord

A source said Mabuza, unlike Mantashe, volunteered to drop out of the swearing at parliament.

"Mabuza went on his own accord. He has his issues but I respect him for this decision. He said their issues should not burden the president or the organization, others refused, including the national chair, it will be interesting to hear their explanations," the source said earlier last week.

Another source close to Mantashe said he was flagged for allegations made against him at the Zondo commission that he benefited from corruption when Bosasa allegedly did security upgrades at his two homes.

"He told the commission his side of the story. He even explained that in order to clear his name, he sent cameras to his homes. He has subjected himself to the media and he is willing to go and testify at the commission. He has done enough, I expect he will be cleared," the source said.

The source said Mantashe will most likely make it into Ramaphosa's newly trimmed cabinet that is expected to be announced on Monday afternoon.

Weeks of horse trading within the top six will also likely ensure Mabuza returns to his position as second in command, the insider said.

Mabuza's future

There has been widespread speculation over Mabuza's future. Mabuza was initially punted to be deployed at Luthuli House to be Ramaphosa's eyes and ears as secretary general Ace Magashule works to consolidate his defence at the party headquarters.

With Zizi Kodwa, Fikile Mbalula and Senzo Mchunu likely to become central figures in Ramaphosa's new cabinet, Luthuli House will be left unguarded, one source believed to be in Ramaphosa's camp told News24.

"He would have been ideal to help run the organisation. The focus has been government while Ace has been running Luthuli House to the ground. If Mabuza was there it would have helped but I think he is going back."

On Friday, the Public Protector cleared Mabuza in two of her reports, according to News24. Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that he was not involved in the irregular procurement of four luxury vehicles worth R5m for his office when he was Mpumalanga premier. He was also cleared of involvement in the Mpumlanga government's event management contract for former president Nelson Mandela's memorial service.

On Saturday, EFF leader Julius Malema said Ramaphosa would be making a mistake if he does not name David Mabuza as his deputy.

"If you make that mistake of not appointing DD, you won't make it past the National General Council. As a president you must always put your deputy next to you. If he wants peace, we all know how it started before Polokwane. Zuma said I want to clear [my name] but behind the scenes he said to us, they forced me out and we came charging."

Speculation has swirled that Naledi Pandor and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma could be in the running for deputy president. However, Pandor brushed off this notion, saying the president was the one who would appoint his deputy.

Source: News24

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