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The ANC defends Magashule after the publication of Gangster State

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A book by journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh is said to reveal ANC’s Ace Magashule’s “dodgy deals” during his long “questionable” political career. The ANC has defended Magashule.

The African National Congress (ANC) has come out guns blazing in defence of its secretary-general Ace Magashule. In a book authored by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh called Gangster State: Unraveling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture, it is said that Magashule’s long political career has been painted as one that is riddled by corruption and shady dealings. In the book, Myburgh placed Magashule at the “head of a well-organised state-capture network” in the Free State where he was the premier until December 2017, after which he was elected as the ruling party’s secretary general.

In a press statement issued by ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete, the party called Myburgh a liar that “has since 2016 been disseminating lies about [Magashule] so we see this book as a culmination of all those lies.

“How on earth does someone who is one of the most well-known liberation fighters and public figures in South Africa, and whose career spans over decades, even begin to do that when every one of his well-known steps have been open to public scrutiny? Clearly this is ever so much nonsense,” the statement read.

The book has also linked Magashule to the infamous Gupta family, where Myburgh alleged that Magashule had visited the Gupta compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and received a brown envelope encasing money from Atul Gupta. Myburgh also linked Magashule to a businessman who was killed after receiving a tender from the Free State government worth R255 million, and even alleged that the ruling party’s secretary general was involved in cattle theft.

“These fake news stories, and the dubious book that they are based on, are timed for publication barely a month before our national elections in order to try and inflict the maximum damage against the Secretary General of the ANC. It is evidently the opening propaganda salvo, in a carefully planned Stratcom operation to unfold in the coming days and weeks against comrade Magashule and the ANC, using the launch of Myburgh’s book today, and the lies that it peddles, as the basis for a vicious character assassination campaign.

“These attacks are aimed at undermining the ANC’s election campaign and weakening the ANC in general. It should also not be seen in isolation from other propaganda attacks that have been launched against many leaders of the ANC across the length and breadth of the country (with those on the ANC candidate list specifically being targeted), as well as the proliferation of allegations also levelled against the other National Office Bearers of the ANC,” Legoete said.

The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) spokesperson Solly Malatsi said that the ruling party, along with President Ramaphosa, had clearly pledged its support of Magashule by vilifying the media.

“This is a man who is unashamedly guilty of plundering the Free State and instead of holding him to account – the ANC has decided to vilify the very press who exposed his dirty dealings by branding these allegations as ‘fake news’. The very fact that a governing party can have the audacity to tell the free press to keep their ‘hands off’ its secretary-general, is undemocratic and unconstitutional in nature.”

Abenathi Gqomo
a.gqomo@politicalanalysis.co.za

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