While the ANC showed a sense of unity after its national working committee (NWC) this week, the The Mail & Guardian has revealed that party members who are seen to be against President Jacob Zuma have received death threats.
The Mail & Guardian reports that, in particular, threatening messages have been sent to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu. The two have also reportedly been labelled CIA spies, with Mthembu further reportedly being accused of “conniving with opposition parties to plot a ‘coup’ against Zuma”.
Meanwhile, National Executive Committee (NEC) member and Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu is reported to have allegedly escaped two assassination attempts.
The publication said Mthembu and Mantashe were not willing to comment on allegedly receiving threats, while Sisulu has not yet responded to queries.
An ANC insider reportedly told the weekly paper that Sisulu had been advised about the assassination threats by “those in the security establishment”, which was partly why she was “keeping a low profile when it comes to issues of succession”.
During internal meetings, Sisulu is, however, reportedly unafraid to “take the president to task” and confronted him regarding the Cabinet reshuffle during the NWC meeting.
Mantashe and Mthembu have also criticised Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, and furthermore, an ANC MP told the publication that Mthembu was “[being] targeted for doing what is right for the ANC” and that he had received calls and SMSes alleging he is a CIA spy. Mantashe has reportedly also received similar SMSes.
An ANC NEC member, meanwhile, reportedly said the party’s integrity committee would compile a new report recommending that Zuma step down after a meeting with the president on April 9, and that the report’s withdrawal at this week’s NEC meeting was because not all committee members were aware of the report.