ANC shields Motsepe on 'false struggle' claims

ANC shields Motsepe on 'false struggle' claims


MIDDELBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) has sprung to the defense of Steve Tshwete Mayor Cllr. Diphala Motsepe after accusations that he lied about his struggle credentials surfaced.

“Comrade Motsepe is a member in good standing and has been a member of the ANC for more than 30 years,” said party spokesperson Sello Matshoga.

“We were not confused when we deployed him to Steve Tshwete. We still maintain that he is a tried and tested leader, well aware of the issues and struggles of the people of Middelburg and we believe he is going to turn things around.”

“We view the accusations as unfortunate and a desperate attempt to win votes coming from a party led by bitter and confused individuals with selfish interests,” he said.

A week after Motsepe’s inauguration, Middelburg and Hendrina Residents Front (MHRF) leaders, Ben Mokoena, Jomo Segage and Chriswell Shabangu, issued a statement, the paper has seen, accusing Motsepe of lying about his political credentials.

“Mr. Motsepe makes several claims about his political credentials which we find unfortunate,” they said in the statement titled Tell no lies, claim no easy victories.

“Mr. Motsepe is not a product of the liberation struggle, on the contrary, he has consistently been a part of those structures which were seen by the liberation movements as puppets of the apartheid regime,” they said. “Mr. Motsepe was a member of the Mhluzi People’s Progressive Party (MPPP) which participated in the highly discredited Black Local authorities. These bodies, as is well known, always stood opposed to the Mass Democratic Movement allied to the Liberation movements like the UDF and AZAPO and fought running battles with them throughout the country.”

They also refuted claims that he attempted going into exile but his parents refused. “Motsepe was never a political activist, never detained, arrested or charged for political activity in his life, so why would it be necessary for him to go into exile,” they said.

They further said that after the Black Local Authority in Mhluzi had collapsed, “Motsepe went and joined the National Party where he stayed until around 1992 when a delegation consisting of Ben Mokoena, Sudney Choma, Tsietsi Tolo and Garth Mngomezulu went to see him and convinced him to leave that racist party and instead join the ANC”.

“We thought it will not be proper to leave these false claims unchallenged, especially because the tendency for people to use the office of Mayor to distort history and shore up their credential is now becoming a trend,” they said.

“That office is not for the ordinary crook. It is one that requires honesty and integrity because it is the embodiment of the values of the people of the town.”

Matshokga also questioned the timing on which the accusations have been brought. “We are concerned why these accusations now?” he asked.

He added, “The National party collapsed in 2005 after the general elections. They went to a federal council where a decision to dissolve it was taken. Some members of the National Party went to other political parties and some were merged with the ANC, the ANC welcomed those members,” he said. “Until today, they are still members of the ANC in good standing.”

He also took swipe at Ben Mokoena, former Mayor of Steve Tshwete. “He is raising these things now because of bitterness that emanates from his expulsion from the party after failing to respect ANC’s decision to put Manthlakeng Mahlangu as Mayor,” he said.

“Ben defied the ANC. Today his is coming with the same kind of defiance and undermining from a different organisation.”

Mayor Motsepe shot down the paper’s attempts to give him opportunity to respond to the accusations.

The ANC had to defend Steve Tshwete Executive Mayor Cllr Diphala Motsepe after his political opponents accused him of lying about his political credentials
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