'I will go' - Ngqulwana says he'll help ANC probe claims against Ace Magashule
Since the publication of this story there been new developments in this matter. Read more here: ANC confirms probe into claims that members helped create other parties
Buyisile Ngqulwana, the man who claims Ace Magashule played a role in the formation of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), says he is willing to assist the ANC with its probe into the allegations against the governing party's secretary general.
On Tuesday, at least three sources who sit on the ANC's national working committee (NWC) confirmed to News24 that former president Kgalema Motlanthe would lead the investigation. His panel, which is yet to be finalised, is expected to include former speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala.
Motlanthe himself is a former secretary general of the governing party.
News24 also understands that while the ANC is yet to give the panel terms of reference, it is also expected to take a broad look at whether any party members were involved in the formation of the many small parties which mushroomed in the run-up to the general elections in May.
Hlaudi Motsoeneng's African Content Movement (ACM) party faced claims that it was a proxy party established to help former president Jacob Zuma destabilise the ANC ahead of the polls - allegations both Motsoeneng and Zuma have denied.
In February, Motsoeneng told the SABC the ACM was not a so-called Zuma party.
Mzwanele Manyi, a vocal supporter of Zuma, also quit the ANC and joined the ATM in January.
Ngqulwana's claim that Zuma and Magashule were involved in the establishment of the ATM was revealed by The Sunday Times last month.
Ngqulwana, who was the secretary-general of South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ when ATM was formed, made the claims in an affidavit as part of an Electoral Court challenge against the ATM and its leadership. The case has since been withdrawn, The Citizen reported last week.
The party has continued to deny the claims and its spokesperson Mandisa Mashiya told News24 on Tuesday the party would not get involved in ANC matters.
"Whatever they are doing has nothing to do with us," said Mashiya.
"If they have evidence, again they are investigating for themselves. On our side, we were there at the establishment of the ATM, we [were] part of building our own constitution last year," she continued.
Ngqulwana told News24 he was one of the people who approached the ANC with the allegations, claiming the Luthuli House party also had his affidavit.
He said if the ANC called on him to assist in the matter, he would do so.
"I will go. Remember, we never wanted to start a political party in the first place. We wanted some sort of an alliance to the ANC but Magashule didn't want that. He thought it would be better if we started a party," said Ngqulwana.
The ATM, which was initially set to be called ATC, changed the C, which stood for congress, to an M for movement - a suggestion allegedly put forward by the ANC secretary general.
At the time, the ANC dismissed the claims, but added that their veracity would be tested.
The party has not been available for comment on the probe into Magashule's alleged involvement in the formation of ATM.