‘We didn’t even discuss Ace at first NEC,’ says Nomvula Mokonyane

By Ferial Haffajee 7 January 2021

ANC's head of organising Nomvula Mokonyane on October 11, 2015 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo)

Vaccines, a virtual January 8 address and lockdown consume the governing party’s first national executive committee meeting of the year.

The Covid-19 vaccine emergency is likely to have saved party secretary-general Ace Magashule from occupying the top spot on the ANC NEC agenda this week.

“We didn’t even discuss the issue of the SG (secretary-general),” said the ANC’s head of organising Nomvula Mokonyane, who briefed media on Thursday about the party’s traditional January 8 address.

The address is meant to set the tone for the political year but, with a Covid-19 second-wave tsunami battering South Africa, the NEC primarily focused on the race to get hold of vaccine doses.

South Africa was late out of the starting blocks but, after widespread criticism and national anxiety, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Thursday that vaccination would start this month.

Under sustained civil society pressure, the government has brought forward its vaccine acquisition strategy by four months and put a rocket under the team negotiating with manufacturers. The NEC took up the issue, too.

The Medical Research Council revealed this week that South Africa had suffered 71,778 excess deaths between May and the end of 2020. Not all of these are Covid-19 deaths, but it is more than the mortality curve has measured annually. It suggests that the official Covid death toll of 31,368 deaths recorded by January 6 is an undercount.

On the same day, South Africa breached 20,000 recorded daily infections for the first time.

The Covid emergency meant the Magashule conundrum was not on the NEC’s agenda. The ANC secretary-general is facing corruption charges (he’ll be in court in February) and the party’s Integrity Commission has said that he should step aside until the case is over.

Magashule has ignored the commission’s finding and the NEC appeared to join him at its first meeting of 2021.

Mokonyane is in charge of all the party’s January 8 events, which continue until President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his address at 7pm on the day. She has appeared before the Judge Raymond Zondo-chaired Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and is a central figure in the revelations regarding Bosasa, a company at the heart of state capture.

Asked if her leadership of the January 8 tone-setting meetings sent the right message, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said the ANC was free to choose its own face of leadership.

The Integrity Commission’s findings are not binding but are of moral suasion in the ANC. The integrity body took the unusual step of circulating its finding on Magashule to every member of the NEC and it had hoped for a response by now.

For the first time since the party’s unbanning, the ANC January 8 address and its week of year-opening activities will be held virtually, because of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. DM


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All Comments 7

  • “Asked if her leadership of the January 8 tone-setting meetings sent the right message, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said the ANC was free to choose its own face of leadership.” They have chosen well. An apparent crook being the face of a crooked party.

  • I imagine first and foremost who and how many tenders for the vaccine are and where the list is…..and second where can I have a good valet for my Aston Martin…..Comrade Ace(ssin) was delighted when he heard the news…..

  • Of course you didn’t discuss Ace. COVID is the perfect cover for the anc thieves. Their narrative is that the SA economy was in pretty good shape before this pandemic as well. What rubbish! More lies !!!!

  • Mokonyane, Pule Mabe???? The latter is known as an ardent supported of Ace Magashule. Mokonyane accepted thousands of Rands in bribes from Bosasa. Yet these are the people addressing the media. Even Ramaphosa singing the praises of Mokonyane. How low can a party go? Well, obviously the depth of criminality in ANC so-called leadership is endless. Off cause they are free to only select known criminals for any position, including house speaker, ministers and deputies, ENC members, heads of state-owned enterprises, members of parlement, …..this list is also endless


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