Derek Hanekom. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Derek Hanekom. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Former president Jacob Zuma says he is not surprised by claims that ANC veteran Derek Hanekom worked with the EFF to remove him.

EFF leader Julius Malema has said that the former tourism minister worked with the party to help remove Zuma through a vote of no confidence.

Zuma took to Twitter early on Thursday morning to weigh in on the matter after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule called Hanekom a “charlatan” and “wedge-driver”.

“It is part of the plan I mentioned at the Zondo commission. Derek Hanekom is a known enemy agent‚” Zuma tweeted.

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Last week‚ the former president appeared before the state capture commission of inquiry‚ headed by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo‚ where he said his removal from office was informed by intelligence forces.

He also said that those who spoke out against him‚ such as former head of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Siphiwe Nyanda and former minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi‚ were apartheid spies.

Zuma did not say why he appointed Hanekom as a member of his executive if he knew he was an "enemy agent".

In a statement issued late on Wednesday night‚ Magashule said he was dismayed by Hanekom’s confession that he had had several meetings with the opposition EFF to indicate that some ANC MPs would side with the EFF in a vote of no confidence.

“The ANC is working to unite its members and in our midst is Derek Hanekom‚ a wedge-driver and on a mission to divide the ANC. Indeed this charlatan is making his mark through his ownership of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation‚” Magashule said.

He said when the ANC called for an open vote against Zuma‚ Hanekom and others demanded that the speaker of the National Assembly concede to a secret ballot.

“Hanekom had full access to air his acerbic views in the NEC of the ANC‚ he did so ad nauseum. He always spoke in an even‚ practised voice‚ linking all the bad publicity that the ANC has had to the accusations against former President Zuma‚” the statement read.

The furore started when Malema disclosed on Tuesday that Hanekom worked with the EFF to remove Zuma.

“Today he calls us fascists‚ but Derek Hanekom plotted with the EFF to bring down President Zuma. The same goes with Solly Mapaila [deputy general secretary of the SACP] too‚” Malema said.

Malema went further‚ alleging that Hanekom was planning to form a new political party. “He even told us that if NDZ [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma] wins [during the 2017 ANC leadership battle]‚ they are forming a new political party. And we have recordings to that effect. With Mapaila‚ there is no communist party. There is a faction of the ANC. We are not scared of them ideologically or politically.”

In response‚ Hanekom confirmed he met EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee‚ but said there was nothing wrong with two MPs talking.

“People of different parties have coffee with each other all the time. He is making something big out of nothing‚” he said.

Hanekom said the removal of Zuma was a matter that brought political parties and civil society together.