E-mail messages allegedly exchanged between senior African National Congress leaders outline a plan to work the financial destruction of ANC general secretary Kgalema Motlanthe, the Mail & Guardian established this week.
The existence of the messages was confirmed at the weekend by Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils, and they are reported to have been unlawfully obtained by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). However, Kasrils dismissed their authenticity, saying they smacked of apartheid-era Stratcom disinformation aimed at confusing the liberation movement.
Kasrilsâ€™s spokesperson, Lorna Daniels, said on Thursday that the Inspector-General of Intelligence, Zolile Ngcakani, was investigating the origins of the messages.
They have been widely interpreted as symptomatic of the spillover of the ANC succession battle into the intelligence field, and as linked to the recent suspensions of NIA boss Billy Masetlha and two other senior agency officials, Gibson Njenje and Bob Mhlanga.
Five different sources in the ANC-led tripartite alliance, who have seen the correspondence, this week corroborated its details to the M&G. The messages bear the names of ANC businessman Saki Macozoma, deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, her husband Bulelani Ngcuka, director general in the presidentâ€™s office Frank Chikane and the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Vusi Pikoli.