Mashatile’s love life drama divides ANC

ANC Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s love life has caused divisions in the governing party.

The ructions played themselves out in the public domain this week after Mashatile’s ex-girlfriend   and ANC member Norma Mbatha pressed criminal charges against her fellow comrade Phapano Phasha, whom she accused of intimidation and harassment.

This after Phasha started a social media campaign to defend Mashatile from what she believes is a political onslaught against the deputy president by those who want to thwart his move to replace party president Cyril Ramaphosa and become South Africa’s number one citizen.

In what is believed to be a strategic attempt to coax ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula to be in her corner, Mbatha wrote a letter to him alerting him of the criminal case she had opened against Phasha.

The schism between Phasha and Mbatha came to the fore after Ramaphosa’s former adviser and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Bejani Chauke was accused of being behind Mashatile’s love life scandals, which have been a cannon fodder for both tabloid and “serious” newspapers.

In the letter to Mbalula, Mbatha said she had opened the case against Phasha, an ANC Women’s League zonal secretary in Ward 7 Brian Bunting branch, whom she accused of threatening her with text messages and public statements.

The case was opened at the Pretoria North police station on Thursday against Phasha and others.

This emanated from “fake WhatsApp” messages purported to be a conversation between Mbatha and Chauke in which a plot to soil Mashatile’s reputation was discussed.

In her sworn affidavit, Mbatha said she decided to open the case against Phasha and others because of lies peddled against her.

“On Thursday, 29th June 2023 at about 11h36, I was made aware that Ms Phapano Phasha with [mobile number withheld] had created a WhatsApp group that had been joined by individuals that exceeded 400 members on that particular day. The said WhatsApp group had been named “hands off Mashatile… wage a
relentless war against disrupters & defend the anc”.

She said a concerned member forwarded her a statement from the group with a Sunday World article headlined “Mashatile’s ex-girlfriend opens cases against his spin doctor”.

On Monday, she said, she received screenshots from one of Mashatile’s alleged lovers, sharing a conversation with the person whose mobile number appeared as “July Tiles Mashite”.

“Based on the current affairs and the fact that had previously received a similar warning, which was followed by a phone call, concluded that the sender was referring to me, then she shared the screenshots with me.”

Mbatha said Phasha later shared the same screenshots in her WhatsApp group.

“I personally feel that my life has been put in more danger and [am] unable to enjoy my right to freedom of movement.”

In the letter to Mbalula, Mbatha said she was shocked certain members of the ANC who are known Mashatile allies were in Phasha’s WhatsApp group. “Despite not being officially endorsed by the leader, the individuals chose to create this campaign.

This decision raises a question about who is actually endorsing a campaign to defend the national executive leader in isolation, she said.

Mbatha said she had reasonable grounds to believe that Mashatile’s circle of friends were using Phasha and deceiving her to continuously attack her reputation and character.

Chauke has since distanced himself from the WhatsApp messages and denied being part of any scheme to tarnish and assassinate Mashatile’s character.

“I just think there are people who are sometimes threa ened by my relationship with the deputy president, and that is why they come up with manipulated information. I don’t know why they would opt for a small fish like me,” he said.

When contacted, Phasha lost her cool and accused Mbatha of being crazy.

She said: “What is wrong for opening a WhatsApp group? Norma is crazy. She is an attention seeker who joined the ANC in 2017 from the IFP, and she comes here with theatrics. She opened the case against me and after that somebody sent me the letter she had written to Luthuli House, and I posted it in the group.

“Who mentioned her name that she was chatting to Bejani. Her name was not there and we are not going to be apologetic to Norma, whose intention is to destroy the leaders of the ANC. That is not going to happen. She is busy writing letters to the ANC leadership trying to destroy Mashatile. I don’t care about her as she is a non-factor to us. Just because she apparently dated Mashatile, she thinks she can threaten us. Who the hell is Norma?

“She must not come here with IFP tendencies of threatening people. No one spoke about her, she loves attention. All I did was sharing the case that she apparently opened for me.”


Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa.


Latest News