Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) second-in-command Floyd Shivambu reacted on Friday to a story in The Citizen about how former state security minister Bongani Bongo said, following his arrest on bribery charges on Thursday, that he believes African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule may be next.
Bongo made this prediction as part of a bizarre eNCA interview in which he also at one point denied having been arrested.
He also suggested that Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan may have had something to do with him having allegedly been poisoned, an accusation the minister called “ridiculous”, adding that Bongo must have been “hallucinating”.
Despite the incredulity that the interview has mainly been received with, Shivambu appears to have taken Bongo’s assertion that he knew that several others were due to be charged, and that Magashule may be one of them, and ran with it.
Shivambu added the EFF’s number one target since the beginning of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidency – Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, as well as the president himself and National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi to the mix, spinning Bongo’s prediction into an elaborate conspiracy theory.
Calling Gordhan by his middle name, which doubles up as a mocking nickname used by the EFF, Shivambu theorised that the “Jamnandas controlled NDPP Batohi will soon arrest and charge Ace Magashule because that’s the mandate of the establishment.
“She’s trying by all means to withdraw the winnable case of the rogue unit because her handlers are implicated. And [Ramaphosa] approves,” he added.
If Magashule does indeed end up under arrest, it will likely have more to do with the corruption he has accused of being instrumental in while Premier of the Free State.
These allegations are the subject of a book by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh, Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s web of capture, which places the ANC secretary general at the centre of state capture and details his alleged gangsterism and corruption.
Magashule has threatened to take legal action against Myburgh but has not yet done so.
Bongo, who is currently an ANC MP and chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on home affairs, is a Zuma loyalist and is seen as an ally of Magashule.
He alleged in the eNCA interview that he has been part of the same poison plot as the ANC secretary general. While it has not been reported that Magashule himself has claimed to have been poisoned, he did say at the funeral of his close ally Sandile Msibi that he believed Msibi had been poisoned and that “white monopoly capital” may have had something to do with it.