Johannesburg – Senior members of Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) say senior ANC official Derek Hanekom must pay a heavy price for colluding with the EFF to oust former president Jacob Zuma in August 2017.
Last month, the MKMVA and other Zuma supporters failed in their bid to persuade the governing party’s national executive committee to expel Hanekom, after he admitted to meeting the EFF prior to a vote of no confidence in Zuma in Parliament.
Aggrieved by the failure of the ANC to act, the former freedom fighters have vowed to support Zuma in the Durban High Court after he labelled the former science and technology minister an “apartheid spy”.
Zuma and Hanekom are to face off on August 21 after Zuma tweeted on July 25, labelling Hanekom a “known enemy agent”. Hanekom filed a lawsuit after Zuma refused to retract his tweet. He wants damages of R500000 after Zuma declined his request to withdraw his claim and remove his tweet from his Twitter account.
Zuma on Monday served Hanekom with a notice to defend the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, MKMVA national spokesperson Carl Niehaus said their senior members would be in court, but he was cautious on whether MKMVA supported Zuma’s claim against Hanekom.
“We are still angry that a member of the ANC colluded with the opposition against a sitting president. We take a dim view of that,” Niehaus said.
Hanekom made startling revelations in his affidavit, and he challenged Zuma to dispel them.
Hanekom said as an underground operative, he had convinced a senior SADF officer, Roland Hunter, to share important information about the role of Mozambican rebel army Renamo with the ANC in Botswana. Renamo was operating from South Africa in 1979, after Samora Machel had taken control of Mozambique in 1975.
“I was later informed that the then president of the ANC, Mr Oliver Tambo, had conveyed this information to the then president of Mozambique, Mr Samora Machel. I was informed that it was this information, which included details of the Renamo training camps in South Africa, that led to the ability of Frelimo under Machel to respond rapidly to Renamo activities,” Hanekom said.
Hunter was charged with treason in 1983 for uncovering Renamo’s “terrorist role” from South Africa.
In his affidavit, Hanekom is adamant that he served his country and the ANC loyally. “I am not nor have I ever been, a spy for the apartheid government.
“Not only is the statement false, but it is inconceivable that Mr Zuma could have genuinely believed it to be true. Mr Zuma is fully aware of my history as an anti-apartheid activist and loyal member of the ANC.
“When I first met Mr Zuma in 1988, shortly after my exile in Zimbabwe as a result of my political activism, Mr Zuma thanked me for my contribution to the liberation struggle.”
Hanekom said Zuma, during his tenure as president of South Africa, appointed him as minister of science and technology in October 2012 to May 2014, as well as tourism minister in May 2014 to March 2017.
“If he (Zuma) honestly regarded me as an “enemy agent”, he would not have done so,” Hanekom insisted.
Zuma’s lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, did not respond on his client’s defence on the defamation suit.
But General Simphiwe Nyanda, Umkhonto we Sizwe Council national chairperson and former head of the SANDF, has also indicated his intention to file a lawsuit against Zuma after he also labelled him a spy during his testimony at the Zondo Commission.
Zuma also labelled former mineral resources minister Ngwako Ramatlhodi a spy in his testimony at the Zondo Commission.