Thu, 06 Aug 2020

It is finger-pointing season in the African Transformation Movement (ATM) party.

While the party continues to dispute claims that it was the creation of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma, it is now accusing some of the messianic churches, it was once a part of, of working for some in the ANC.

This comes after the ANC decided to investigate the involvement of its comrades in the formation of some small parties, which were launched ahead of the 2019 national elections.

Some in the ANC believe Magashule was involved, claiming that evidence had been handed over to the party in Cape Town as proof.

Although the ANC has not responded to the claims, sources have told News24 that the party would embark on an investigation into the claims around its secretary-general as well as taking a broader look at the small parties and whether any of its comrades had been involved.

The ATM's spokesperson, Mandisa Mashiya, said while it did not care who or what the ANC was investigating with regards to the claims, it was fascinated by the relationship between the governing party and some in the messianic church's council.

"We want to know if they are just friends or if there is something bigger happening," said Mashiya, referring to a picture of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa with Buyisile Ngqulwana, who is the secretary-general of the messianic churches, and a priest known as "Hoho" from the Ntsikane Bantu Church.

Ngqulwana, who told News24 he was willing to help the ANC should it ask for it, said the picture was taken just before the 2019 May elections.

He added that the council had requested a meeting with the governing party in a bid to form some sort of alliance. "We showed them our correspondence with Magashule who did not respond to our official requests."

He claimed it was Magashule who had suggested that the organisation should start a political party and that Zuma was roped in to assist it. The party garnered two seats in the National Assembly.

Last week, Ngqulwana withdrew his application to the Electoral Court to have the ATM deregistered.

In a letter penned by his lawyers, he explained that going the court route felt premature as the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) had agreed to hear him out.

"Pending a decision by the IEC, we propose to withdraw the application [as opposed to postponing, which we understand is required in order for the IEC to consider the appeal]," he said through his lawyer, Waheed Badrodien.

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