ANC activist Shaka Sisulu has denied the allegations behind the ANC War Room scandal in an extensive interview with News24, saying that the claims that he had spearheaded a secretive campaign aimed at spreading false and discreditable messages about opposition parties during last year's local government elections were a "politically motivated attack".
Sisulu was implicated as one of the masterminds behind the campaign in court documents filed by PR specialist Sihle Bolani on Tuesday.
However, in the sit-down interview shot on Wednesday, he claimed that it had actually been a "love campaign". Here are the five most vital quotes from the interview:
- "I believe it is a politically motivated attack... I believe that. Because I'm a political activist, I rationalise it in my mind that perhaps this is par for the course, that this is to be expected. It's not nice but it is the life of people who choose to be involved in politics..."
- "For purpose of clarity: I do not get a pay cheque from the ANC. I cannot put... a contract on the ANC. So if I enter into a contract with you, how can you end up going to sue the ANC? So it [the statement released by the party, distancing itself from the scandal] clarifies that. So it raises that question that we all have, if two people that are not working for the ANC and don't have some kind of a letter or commission from the ANC come and say 'let's do this particular work', even though it may be that we want it to benefit the ANC, how do you then go and sue the ANC?"
- "I've been very vocal about when I believe [sic] that when members of the ANC have done something wrong, and need to then account to it. I abide by that as well... I am accountable to the ANC for my part in some things that have led to news stories to turn into something significantly bigger and dirtier than it really is."
- "This was an initiative that came out of our own knowledge of what is actually happening in terms of what we felt was an extremely hostile media environment against the ANC, and look at ways that this can be dealt with..."
- "Typically what happens is that in in every election, someone finds something that they are going to do... People find ways in which they slot themselves in to what is happening... There are official things that are happening where they are paying official contractors. They've been contracted by Luthuli House. And then there's a network of volunteers who are figuring out what ways can they assist. But always within the confines of the law, of the electoral code, and so on..."