Mixed reaction to Mapaila claim Zuma lied about reasons for Cabinet reshuffle

The SACP's Solly Mapaila revealed that he’s taking legal action against the president as he believes he lied about the reason for the removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

FILE: ANC President Zuma during his final plenary address at the party's national policy conference at Nasrec on 5 July 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – There’s been mixed reaction to comments made by the South African Communist Party (SACP)’s Solly Mapaila that President Jacob Zuma lied about the reasons for his controversial Cabinet reshuffle earlier this year.

On Sunday, Mapaila revealed he's taking legal action against the president as he believes he lied about the reason for the removal of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy amongst others.

African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee member Lindiwe Sisulu described Mapaila’s comments as mere allegations that need to be proven.

“Solly Mapaila is indicating that, in his view, the president is lying and he will need to prove that indeed it’s the truth. If that’s the truth, then it would mean the president has brought the ANC into disrepute.”

Meanwhile, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande refused to be drawn on Mapaila's remarks.

“This matter could a subject of a court hearing in future. We would really not like to comment about it as the SACP.”

Mapaila says he sent an affidavit to the Inspector-General of Intelligence asking him to investigate the legitimacy of the intelligence report allegedly used by Zuma to reshuffle his Cabinet earlier this year.

He says that the so-called intelligence report used by Zuma in his Cabinet reshuffle should be verified.

“On that basis, we wrote to the Inspector-General of Intelligence requesting an investigation into the truthfulness of the report, its sources and the reasons for its commissioning.”

He says the SACP regrets now more than ever supporting Zuma to become president of the African National Congress (ANC) in 2007 and says that support has now plunged the country into a crisis of corruption.

“I, personally, struggle every day to accept the leadership of President Zuma.”

Mapaila says that if Gordhan and Jonas have attempted to sell the state as alleged by the intelligence report, then they should have been charged with treason and not removed from the Finance Ministry.

At the same time, Mapaila says South Africa is owed an apology.

Mapaila apologised, saying that the SACP supported President Jacob Zuma to become president by allocating him platforms in the party to address members.

He says that at the time, the Communist party was convinced that Zuma had been cleared in the eyes of the law.

“Ultimately we know we plunged the country into this crisis that it is in because we supported a man that even at that time could not understand the consequences.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)