Nothing untoward about meeting Gardee - Derek Hanekom

Malema says former minister was conspiring to launch splinter party, had NDZ won in 2017

Hanekom confirms Gardee meeting, but denies conspiring to oust Zuma

Former tourism minister Derek Hanekom has confirmed he had met with EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, but told News24 there was nothing untoward about the meeting.

Hanekom is the subject of allegations made by EFF leader Julius Malema that he had handed a list of MPs to the party who would vote against former president Jacob Zuma in a bid to oust him as head of state.

Speaking to party supporters on Tuesday, Malema said Hanekom, a national executive committee member, was ready to form a splinter party if President Cyril Ramaphosa's rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, at the Nasrec conference had won the race.

He has, however, denied this. In a brief SMS sent to News24, Hanekom, who refused to answer questions, said this was not true.

"I have said - not admitted - that at the time I met Gardee. His initiative, not mine. There is nothing with meeting a fellow MP, which is what we were at the time."

Hanekom resigned as an MP shortly after the general elections.

Reacting to Hanekom's statement, Gardee said there were several meetings between the EFF, SACP leader Solly Mapaila and Hanekom.

"I have nothing to say. It is confirmed that there were several meetings with Derek and Solly Mapaila. It does not matter who initiated it. I can't give you the juicy part… What is important is that he has confirmed."

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo, however, said the party strongly condemned any suggestion that it was part of a conspiracy. "The SACP strongly condemns any distortion or insinuation suggesting or seeking to suggest otherwise."