Mail and Guardian

Endangered: Lindiwe Sisulu (pictured with Cyril Ramaphosa) is said to have received threats on her life. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)
Endangered: Lindiwe Sisulu (pictured with Cyril Ramaphosa) is said to have received threats on her life. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

With eight months left before the ANC’s elective conference, serious cracks have emerged in the governing party – with those who are seen to be against President Jacob Zuma, including a Cabinet minister, who escaped assassination attempts and others who received death threats.

Despite the party presenting a show of unity after its national working committee (NWC) meeting this week, the Mail & Guardian can reveal that:

  • National executive committee (NEC) member and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, a potential candidate to succeed Zuma, has allegedly escaped two assassination attempts;
  • ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and the party’s chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, were sent threatening messages and are being labelled CIA spies who are out to tarnish Zuma’s name; and
  • Mthembu has been accused of conniving with opposition parties to plot a “coup” against Zuma on April 18, when the National Assembly is due to discuss a motion of no confidence against the president. A group within the party is pushing for Mthembu to be removed as ANC chief whip.

Sisulu has not criticised Zuma in public but ANC insiders say she is one of the few party leaders who is not afraid to take the president to task during internal meetings.

During the NWC meeting this week, she confronted the president about his decision to reshuffle the Cabinet, saying he could have waited a bit longer to allow ANC leaders and members to mourn the passing of struggle veteran and Rivonia triallist Ahmed Kathrada.

Those close to Sisulu say she is seen as a serious threat by supporters of former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.