Zizi Kodwa: ANC can't explain 'meeting that was not an ANC meeting'

The ANC says the responsibility for clarifying reports of a plot to unseat President Cyril Ramaphosa lies with party members who are linked to the claims.

The Sunday Times at the weekend reported that ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, ousted ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, ANC Women's League secretary general Meokgo Matuba, and ANC Youth League provincial secretary and presidential hopeful Thanduxolo Sabelo had met with former president Jacob Zuma in a bid to get rid of Ramaphosa.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe denied the meeting and has labelled the report as "shameless gossip", while Sabelo has approached the press ombudsman, claiming the reports were false. Meanwhile, the ANC's head of presidency Zizi Kodwa has attempted to distance the party from the plot.

READ: ANC rejects Sunday Times allegations of secret meeting plans to oust Ramaphosa

"What was the meeting about? How did it come about? Was it a coincidence? The ANC has no responsibility to explain a meeting which was not an ANC meeting," Kodwa said to journalists.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the commission of inquiry into state capture in Johannesburg.

Kodwa faced a flurry of questions from the media, but maintained his position, saying that the ANC had not called the meeting, which is understood to have taken place in Durban last week.

"The point that we are making is its not for us to ask anybody who was at that meeting, [or] what [the] meeting was about," he emphasised.

No one will succeed at removing Ramaphosa

Several ANC national executive committee members, including Jackson Mthembu and Derek Hanekom, have tweeted their thoughts on the meeting and called for an investigation into the alleged plot.

Kodwa said, although leaders and members of the party had the right to express their views, having many differing opinions on the issue would not help the organisation. He admitted that, depending on how the story developed, there could be an investigation into the matter.

"Nobody, whether inside or outside the ANC, will succeed to change the outcomes of Nasrec," said Kodwa.

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He said the outcomes of the ANC's 54th national elective conference, which took place in December 2017, were the results of a democratic process.

"Whatever wishes, happiness or unhappiness outside of the structures, that is not going to change," said Kodwa.

ANC fought for media freedom

He said he had heard one of the journalists involved in the story was sent a picture of a toy gun by Matuba, but he had not spoken to her about the allegations.

He said the party had worked to ensure South Africans and its media had the rights and freedom of expression, even if the ANC did not agree with their views.

"To send guns and so on, that person will not be acting on behalf of the ANC," said Kodwa.

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