Mbeki plot was a lie

The former African National Congress Youth League secretary in Mpumalanga who linked three prominent ANC members to a plot to topple President Thabo Mbeki, has admitted to lying, the Sunday Times reported in Johannesburg on Saturday evening.

James Nkambule sparked a top-level police investigation in 2001 with his claims that Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo Sexwale and Mathews Phosa were plotting to unseat Mbeki.

“I realise, with regret, that I was manipulated by some who wanted to serve and achieve certain agendas,” the Sunday Times quoted Nkambule as saying.

Declining to provide names, Nkambule told the newspaper that between 12 and 14 people, including senior civil servants, police officers and four ANC politicians who are still in Parliament, provided him with the information.

In his 2001 claims, Nkambule said he discovered a plot to discredit Mbeki by linking him to the death of Communist Party leader Chris Hani. The plot further involved a media campaign about Mbeki’s alleged “lack of good judgement” and “his increasingly autocratic leadership style”, the Sunday Times reported.

“Sometimes the information was got through meetings. I used to get tape recordings of conversations, supposedly of the plotters. I decided to stop contacting the people the moment I realised there were certain agendas people wanted to achieve,” Nkambule was quoted as saying.

His decision to reveal the truth came after he had evaluated all the facts, Nkambule said.

Nkambule, who was quoted by the newspaper as saying he felt like “a used condom”, has apologised “unreservedly” to the trio for the harm he caused them.

Ramaphosa, Sexwale and Phosa have all accepted his apologies.—Sapa

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