SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila. Picture: SOWETAN
SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila. Picture: SOWETAN

Solly Mapaila‚ the deputy secretary-general of the South African Communist Party (SACP)‚ has submitted an affidavit to the inspector-general of intelligence‚ accusing President Jacob Zuma of lying about why he fired former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy‚ Mcebisi Jonas.

Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet at the end of March‚ booting out Gordhan and Jonas. An official presidency statement at the time said the move had been prompted by a need for renewal.

But Mapaila said Zuma had told SACP and ANC officials that he had based the decision on an intelligence report.

"I’ve noticed many lies being said by the president. That is why I can confirm now [in] public‚ for the first time‚ I have deposed an affidavit against the president with the inspector-general of intelligence‚ because he had gone to court to refute the fact that when he was removing Pravin Gordhan and deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas that he used the intelligence report — and he had briefed us [on] that. And I couldn’t understand … how could he tell us the truth and lie to the public?" Mapaila said on Sunday night in a panel discussion broadcast on TV news channel eNCA.

It was not clear whether Mapaila’s affidavit formed part of an investigation into the intelligence report. Both the SACP and the DA have reported the matter to the inspector-general.

"I had to take that step because I felt it was important that we must bring him to the commitment of our movement. Our movement has always been a truthful movement‚" Mapaila said.

"That is why the NEC [national executive committee] must have the courage to take the president to task and not go and necessarily debate the fact that there’s this vote of no confidence‚ they can’t agree‚ there’s this and that number.

"[They must look] into the primary principles of our movement and‚ I can tell you‚ President Zuma will fail each and every one. That is what we call corruption."

From the word go‚ the SACP and senior ANC leaders have disputed Zuma’s version of why he overhauled his Cabinet.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa have spoken publicly about the intelligence report‚ which apparently accused Gordhan of being part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

At a media briefing soon after his removal‚ Gordhan also alluded to what he said was a dubious intelligence report.

The SACP has since then stepped up calls for Zuma’s resignation.

The functions of the inspector-general of intelligence are contained in the Intelligence Oversight Act of 1994 and include monitoring the country’s intelligence services to ensure they comply with the Constitution and relevant legislation in relation to intelligence and counter-intelligence.

The inspector-general is also responsible for investigating complaints from members of the public regarding maladministration‚ abuse of power and transgressions of the Constitution within the intelligence services.

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