South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) general secretary Buyisile Ngqulwana has written a damning affidavit claiming that both former president Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule were involved in the formation of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), the Sunday Times reports.
The new opposition party was formed by the SACMM. It made headlines after its alleged attempts to get Zuma to join it, and after businessman Mzwanele Manyi became the party’s head of policy and strategy.
The Citizen reported last week that the African Transformation Congress (ATC) had approached the Electoral Court to challenge the registration of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), saying Mzwanele Manyi’s party was fraudulently registered by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and demanding that ATM’s registration be declared null and void, and unlawful.
Despite the involvement of SACMCC in the party’s initial formation, the Sunday Times now reports that its secretary general has written an affidavit supporting this electoral court application challenging the party’s registration. It seems this is as a result of a dispute between members of the originally proposed party, to be called the ATC, and those that facilitated a change of direction that culminated in the ATM being registered.
According to the IEC, in its records the ATC and ATM are listed as one party with Vuyolethu Zungula as president.
Ngqulwana’s affidavit claims Zuma and Magashule were involved in “consultation sessions” leading to the formation of the party.
It alleges that Magashule even came up with the African Transformation Movement’s name.
It also claims that meetings were held over the proposed party with ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala. He has denied this.
The full story can be read in today’s edition of the Sunday Times or here.
Zuma’s behind-the-scenes involvement in ATM has been rumoured, with Ngqulwana’s affidavit the first actual evidence that the former president allegedly played a role in its formation.
ATM declined to comment in the Sunday Times story except to say the party is filing papers in response to the ATC’s Electoral Court challenge.
The Citizen’s attempts to contact Magashule and Zuma for comment did not bear fruit at the time of publication, we will update this article with their comment if and when we receive it.
EWN has reported that Zuma denied while on the campaign trail for the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal that he and Magashule had ever plotted in any way to unseat President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Why should I stay to remove people, we’ve worked with Cyril Ramaphosa for the last 20 years? So, what is the problem?” Zuma is quoted as saying.
(Edited by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Eric Naki)