NEWS

Shaka Sisulu Says He Never Led The Paid Twitter Black Ops

"I will release a statement today to address the falsehood that I led a R50m covert black ops operation commissioned by ANC."

25/01/2017 12:57 SAST | Updated 25/01/2017 13:17 SAST
Muntu Vilakazi / City Press / Gallo Images

Activist and entrepreneur Shaka Sisulu has dismissed the accusation that he was at the centre of an alleged R50 million covert elections smear campaign on behalf of the ANC as a "falsehood".

Sisulu, who is the grandson of African National Congress (ANC) struggle icon Walter Sisulu, announced on Twitter that he will be releasing a statement on the controversy on Wednesday.

"I will release a statement today [Wednesday] to address the falsehood that I led a R50m covert black ops operation commissioned by ANC," Sisulu tweeted.

Sisulu has been accused by public relations expert and businessperson Sihle Bolani of being one of the people spearheading the operation to "disempower DA and EFF campaigns".

He was also accused of setting up a pro-ANC agenda using a range of media platforms including social networks.

Bolani said in an affidavit that Sisulu and businessperson Joseph Nkadimeng were to source funds from private donors for the operation, dubbed the "War Room", and later "Media Advisory Team".

Court dispute

She said she was initially approached by Nkadimeng for the project. The details of Bolani's affidavit were revealed in an amaBhungane investigation published on News24 on Tuesday.

In the court papers, Bolani said she was forbidden from having direct contact with Luthuli House, the ANC's headquarters. She said after months of wrangling to get paid, party general manager Ignatius Jacobs agreed that they would pay her R1 million. However, the money never came.

She has since taken the ANC to court claiming she was owed R2,2 million in outstanding fees.

But in a responding affidavit, Jacobs denied she was owed money because she had volunteered her services.

Some within the ANC have claimed that treasurer general Zweli Mkhize had no knowledge of the alleged project.

The claims that the ANC had hired Bolani's company for its 2016 municipal elections campaign were also dismissed by party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

#paidtwitter trending

Sisulu, who has 123,000 followers on Twitter, was less active on the social media platform on Tuesday, promising to address the allegations on SABC 3 show TrendingSAon3.

On Wednesday he said he was disappointed to have not been able to appear on the show.

"I thought it prudent to tackle these trends as we do all."

He tweeted: "I was disappointed I couldn't address this on #TSAon3 coz I haven't gotten to clapback at y'all for all the fun you've had at my expense".

Sisulu was trending on the social network on Tuesday night with his name linked to the hashtag "#paidtwitter" in reference to allegations that some users are being paid to retweet or write tweets to push certain political narratives.

News24