Collen must stop being a coward and hiding behind Supra – ANC NW on league leader's Gupta confession

The ANC in the North West has questioned the reasons behind a confession by ANC Youth League president Collen Maine that it was the province's ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo who introduced him to the controversial Gupta family.

The youth league leader dropped the bombshell, speaking at a memorial service in honour of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Potchefstroom on Tuesday. The liberation hero died on April 2 in hospital following a long illness.

In a video which has gone viral on social media, Maine appears to have a Damascus moment, turning against a man who had long been seen as his political mentor.

In the clip, Maine, who also hails from the North West, tells party supporters who attended the memorial service that despite Madikizela-Mandela's struggles, she never visited the Guptas.

The family is accused of capturing former president Jacob Zuma's government and looting the state.

Maine then went on to admit to visiting the controversial family.

"In honouring Winnie Mandela, she never went to the Guptas, like we did. And we did not take ourselves there, we were taken to the Guptas," he said.

'Don't follow me to court'

"I was not taken there by Zuma, the person who took me there is Supra Mahumapelo," he said to applause by the audience.

Read: Collen Maine: I met the Guptas and Supra Mahumapelo introduced me

In expressing regret for the visit, Maine said he was ready to tell all if asked to, but he pleaded for the ANC's supporters to stay out of it.

"Comrades, if going there means that at some point I must appear in court, don't follow me. You never said I must go there, take the ANC out of it," Maine said.

"Don't follow me to court because I went there on my own, I was not taken by the ANC," he insisted.

Last week, hundreds of ANC supporters, dressed in their party colours, flocked to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to support former president Zuma on the first day of his appearance in court for corruption, defying an ANC directive for supporters not to wear the black, green and gold in connection with the case.

Maine is said to have turned against Mahumapelo, who is facing a vote of no confidence in the provincial legislature next week.

'He used his own legs'

Although Mahumapelo refused to discuss Maine's comments, he sent News24 a WhatsApp suggesting that Maine should take responsibility for his actions. 

"Reckless drivers who cause accidents on the roads must never blame the driving school for introducing them to driving," Mahumapelo said

Defending the provincial chairperson, Susan Dantjie, who is the party's provincial acting secretary, questioned the timing of Maine's remarks and added that he must own up to his "sins".

Dantjie said the former North West MEC should not hide behind other people, but instead take responsibility for his own relationship with the Guptas.

"As a grown man you can't be throttled or say you had a gun held against your head to go to the Guptas. He used his own legs and collected the money from the Guptas with his own hands or bank accounts," she exclaimed.

She hit out at Maine over a house, which is said to have been bought for the youth league leader by the Gupta family, saying he must sell it or give it back to the Gupta family.

"He is just a coward. He must own up," she said.  

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