Natasha Marrian Political editor: Business Day
ANC NEC member Zizi Kodwa. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
ANC NEC member Zizi Kodwa. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

The ANCs headquarters is at the centre of the battle between the faction aligned to President Cyril Ramaphosa and those supporting secretary General Ace Magashule.

This week has seen an explosion of the tension between the warring groups exposed in the public domain, culminating in allegations of rape against a senior leader in Ramaphosa's office at Luthuli House.

Head of the Presidency in the ANC, Zizi Kodwa, described the allegation of rape against him as a “dirty tricks campaign”.

He said he was alerted to the allegations of rape, sexual assault and drugging two women in February this year by Magashule.

Kodwa described it as a “grotesque attack” on him and his reputation.

He said societal maladies such as rape and sexual assault were being used to achieve “narrow factional and political ends”.

The alleged rape has reportedly been acknowledged by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, who said the complainant was advised to report the matter to the police.

It is unclear whether this has been done.

The battle at Luthuli House between the two opposing groups was evident last week after a statement was released criticizing comments by two key Ramaphosa backers and members of the national executive committee, Senzo Mchunu and Pravin Gordhan, over their comments criticizing black Eskom engineers.

Gordhan had written to Luthuli House demanding an apology saying he did not make any comments disparaging black engineers. A prompt apology was issued from Luthuli House in the form of a statement. However, reports indicate that Magashule and his allies in the ANC communication unit were not aware of the apology. It had reportedly being issued by Kodwa.

Kodwa in his statement on Sunday said: “I wish to expose this blatant yet feeble attempt at political blackmail and manipulation orchestrated by elements wanting to turn our politics into a jungle, a place for apartheid like dirty tricks to silence others,” he said.

marriann@businesslive.co.za