Motlanthe refuses to lead investigation into formation of small parties

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe has declined the offer to head the investigation into allegations surrounding the formation of smaller parties ahead of the May 8 elections, the ANC confirmed on Thursday evening. 

Its national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said the party's former secretary-general declined due to "prior international and local obligations, which made it impossible for him to take on the task as requested by officials, given the short time-frame for the investigation".

Mabe added the party would discuss the matter and reconstitute a team to carry out it.

This comes after the Sowetan newspaper reported Motlanthe was unhappy with the party for having gone public and announcing him as the lead in the investigation without proper consultation. 

The ANC's ad hoc committee, which includes former National Assembly speaker Frene Ginwala and advocate Fezeka Magano, only has 30 days to complete its investigation.

In June, News24 reported the investigation would look into current secretary-general Ace Magashule and allegations that he was part of the formation of the African Transformation Movement (ATM). 

Evidence detailing Magashule's involvement was apparently handed to the ANC's leadership by disgruntled ATM members ahead of the elections in an attempt to have the party removed from the ballot.

The ATM is one of the many small parties that emerged ahead of the elections.

Some have alleged the party has links to former president Jacob Zuma and Magashule who is Zuma's long-time ally.

The former secretary-general of the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ, Buyisile Ngqulwana, while having dropped a legal bid to have the ATM removed from the ballot, has continued to claim the party was their brainchild.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter