Mapaila could face criminal charges over JZ criticism

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May 31, 2017
Mapaila could face criminal charges over JZ criticism

SACP leader Solly Mapaila Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

The group of President Jacob Zuma’s supporters that protested at SACP leader Solly Mapaila’s house demanding he should stop speaking ill of the president, say they are not done with him.

The MK Inkululeko Foundation, a group of former Umkhonto we-Sizwe Military Veterans Association members, told The Star they will open criminal charges against Mapaila if he continues to say Zuma is corrupt.

The SACP has condemned the action as a defence of Zuma that was “ugly, dangerous and life-threatening”. In addition to opening a case of intimidation, the party also challenged Zuma to distance himself from the campaign as it was done in his name.

The party will meet over the weekend to discuss how to beef up the security for Mapaila and its other leaders.

Mapaila, a fierce critic of Zuma, is the second ANC-led alliance leader whose safety has become a concern.

Outspoken ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza has written to ANC chief Whip Jackson Mthembu requesting security after she received death threats for speaking out against the ANC leadership.

The threats came as Police Minister Fikile Mbalula reinforced a task team investigating political killings in KwaZulu-Natal by including the Hawks.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande told delegates at the Cosatu central committee meeting on Monday that there were ANC leaders who intimidated them in the meeting saying “they have not been trained for nothing in MK”. Nzimande said they would not keep quiet.

On Tuesday, former tourism minister Derek Hanekom took to Twitter, also saying he would not be silenced.

Hanekom is one of the ANC national executive committee members who argued for Zuma to be removed at the weekend.

This was as ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa told the Cosatu central committee meeting outside Pretoria on Tuesday that the ANC belonged to them and they must be concerned about its internal affairs.

“Nobody must be told to shut up, we are all entitled to speak and voice our concerns. Cosatu must claim its right to be consulted in decision-making,” he said.

The MK Inkululeko Foundation, formed by former MKMVA members who want to repatriate the bodies of soldiers who died in exile, warned Mapaila against criticising Zuma.

The head of the foundation, Johannes “Sparks” Motseki, said at the protest outside Mapaila’s house, the two had a heated confrontation and spoke “MK to MK”.

“I was a commander in the MK and I told him as a former soldier, he should have discipline and not talk about the alliance issues outside the alliance,” he said.

“We told him that if he continues to claim that Jacob Zuma is corrupt but doesn’t open a case against him, we will open a case against him. If he knows something about the president, he must go to the nearest police station and open a case,” Motseki said.

He said the foundation believed Zuma was the only person who would lead their agenda of repatriating soldiers who died in exile.

“We are the last generation of MK soldiers. If we die, no one will care about repatriating our comrades. We believe Jacob Zuma is the only person willing to push this agenda and we will defend him.”

Motseki said going to Mapaila’s home was not intimidation. “He is a communist party leader everywhere he goes. Whether at home or at the office. If we see him at the mall, we will address him.

“In terms of the law, anything under 15 people is not a gathering. We were just meeting him in a friendly way,” Motseki said.

But the SACP cried foul.

“This legacy of President Jacob Zuma, the so-called defence for Zuma, is no longer merely anti-intellectual and mediocre. It has become ugly, dangerous and life-threatening.”

Motseki is not new to controversy. He was implicated in the misappropriation of about R5million from the MKMVA. He was also said to be involved in a mining deal with the Gupta family and Zuma’s son, Duduzane.

This was also not the first time Mapaila’s life has been in danger this year.

The Star

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