Sexwale vows to set his lawyers on 'coup plot' pedlars

A seething Tokyo Sexwale on Thursday outlined his plans to take action over an intelligence report that claims he is behind a conspiracy to overthrow President Jacob Zuma.

“I cannot believe there is this kind of document in government, my government which I fought for,” said an indignant Sexwale.

Speaking at a press conference in Pretoria , the human settlements minister said that although it was not the first time he had heard rumours linking him to the conspiracy, he was disappointed that he had not been alerted to the details sooner.

High ranking government officials are said to have been in possession of the conspiracy report for months. But the document first came into the public domain in the bail hearing of crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli, who has been accused of murdering the boyfriend of a former lover.

Sexwale said he believed the report was a fabrication drafted “for maximum damage to sow confusion within government as well as the governing party”. He added that he would be “shocked” to find that any of his comrades in the ANC were involved in putting together the report.

“I do not want to believe anyone in the ANC could be part of this nefarious plot,” Sexwale said.

Abuse of state power
At the same time, he said that the incident showed a “serious abuse of state power and resources in the conduct of illegal and criminal activity by high ranking members of the police”.

Sexwale said he had many questions concerning the report, key among them are

  • Who commanded Mdluli to conduct the covert operation?
  • What were his orders and the motive behind them?
  • To whom did Mdluli report?
  • Which other officers did he work with?
  • Who did he authorise to conduct the operation?

    This is not the first time Sexwale has been linked to a conspiracy or been the subject of a smear campaign. Almost exactly 10 years ago, safety and security minister Steve Tshwete, backed by national police commissioner Jackie Selebi, alleged that intelligence agencies were investigating an apparent plot by Sexwale, Mathews Phosa and Cyril Ramaphosa against then-president Thabo Mbeki.

    No evidence of a plot was ever presented and Tshwete was forced to apologise to the three. Similar conspiracy plots surfaced within the governing party in 2005 in the form of a compilation of hoax emails and again in 2007 with the Special Browse Mole report.

    Asked why his name always seemed to crop up in coup theories, Sexwale mused, “I am also interested to know why—I’m always dragged into these things. It always seems to coincide with elections.”

    “This time I’m taking action,” he added.

    Sexwale said a thorough investigation would have to be conducted to “get to the bottom of this ugly episode”.

    Knee-jerk reaction
    He said that he had been slow to react to the conspiracy report as it was a serious matter that did not require a knee-jerk reaction. In the weeks since Mdluli first made his allegations, he had consulted with colleagues in the ANC, the secretary general of the ANC Gwede Mantashe, and others named in the report.

    Sexwale has appointed a legal team to keep an eye on the Mdluli murder case; to seek access to any documents that might be relevant to the matter; and to advise him on the need to pursue any criminal or civil action.

    “The matter cannot be left as it is,” he said. “I’m determined to see this matter to its logical conclusion and prepared to take legal steps.”

    His legal team will work together with legal representatives for Mvelaphanda Group Company, a JSE-listed company that he helped found, and others named in the conspiracy report, including KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize.

    Sexwale denied that he had presidential ambitions, saying such ambitions would be “misplaced”.

    “The stability brought to the ANC by Jacob Zuma is one that I respect,” he said, adding that he and the president had a history going back 35 years and that they “went through hell together” in jail.

    Sexwale said that within the ANC, personal ambitions for the presidency did not matter as one had to be nominated by party members. “Will I stand [for office]? That depends on [the ANC’s 2012 elective] conference. You have to wait until conference to see what people say,” he said.

  • Faranaaz Parker

    Faranaaz Parker

    Faranaaz Parker is a reporter for the Mail & Guardian. She writes on everything from pop science to public health, and believes South Africa needs carbon taxes and more raging feminists. When she isn't instagramming pictures of her toddler or obsessively checking her Twitter, she plays third-person shooters on Xbox Live. Read more from Faranaaz Parker

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