Thandi Modise says mischief behind ‘fake’ reports on her resignation

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 28, 2024


Defence Minister Thandi Modise and former EFF Gauteng Chairperson Mandisa Mashego have denied claims that they are connected to former president Jacob Zuma’s uMKhonto weSizwe (MK) Party.

Zuma announced on December 16 that he would neither campaign nor vote for the ANC and that instead, he endorsed the MK Party for the May national general elections.

On Monday, Mervyn Dirks, who was one of a few ANC MPs who voted in Parliament for the motion to probe the Phala Phala matter, said the governing party’s reluctance to place Cyril Ramaphosa under scrutiny was a crucial motivating factor in his joining the MK Party.

On Tuesday, in a statement, Modise said “fake news reports” had suggested that she had resigned as a minister and as an ANC national executive committee (NEC) member.

A statement from her department said Modise “is extremely appalled and disgusted by what can merely be described as fake ‘news’ reports that she has resigned from her position”.

The statement referred to an article published online on Tuesday, in which it was reported that Modise left her position in the Cabinet and the ANC in order to join the MK party.

“Minister Modise categorically rejects any resignation claims or any insinuation that she harbours ambitions to leave the ANC to join any other political party,” it said.

“I remain a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress, a party that has been my political home since the early 1970s.

“I equally remain a committed servant of the South African people, having served as Member of Parliament in the first Parliament from 1994, the Speaker of the North West Legislature, the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, the Premier of the North West Province, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the Speaker of the National Assembly and currently the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans,” Modise said.

She said she had full confidence in the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC collective.

The minister said reports of her resignation and defection to the MK Party were used by “wedge drivers who are hell-bent at undermining the unity of the ANC and creating instability in government”.

Mashego, who has left politics, appeared on MK Party campaign posters.

She said she felt violated that her name and images had been used without her permission.

The Mercury