Social activist Shaka Sisulu has rejected any claims that he may have spearheaded the African National Congress’ alleged “covert black-ops” media unit.
Accusations have emerged suggesting that the ruling party instigated an elaborate media influencing scheme during the 2016 local and municipal elections.
The campaign’s purpose was reportedly to discredit the ANC’s opposition through tweets and other forms of social media, and was supposedly funded with a R50-million budget.
“These reports are inherently false, exaggerated and no doubt intended to discredit, in part my reputation, and most significantly the name of the ANC,” says Sisulu in a statement.
Sisulu, the grandson of legendary ANC hero Walter Sisulu, says he has no qualms admitting that he volunteers during ANC election campaigns.
He emphasises that the role of volunteers is not to discredit the opposition, but to promote the ANC, while adhering to the electoral code and the law.
Calling the R50-million figure the “figment of someone’s imagination”, Sisulu notes that volunteers use their own resources for electioneering purposes. Furthermore, he adds, he would be able to dispel all “false claims” in court on behalf of the ANC.
“Whilst I did work briefly with the complainant [Sihle Bolani] as part of a media team, it was certainly not a covert, ‘black-ops’ unit,” he claims. “I neither possess the skill nor the knowledge of what a black-ops operation is.”
Bolani has, of course, filed court papers in an attempt to force the ruling party to pay her for her ‘covert’ dealings on its behalf.
The ANC, as with Sisulu, has dismissed the claims and distanced itself from the fiasco.