ANC, COPE squabbles threaten Telkom deal

TelkomLogo.gifANALYSTS have warned that the ongoing squabble between the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of the People (COPE) could halt the progress of South Africa’s telecommunications sector.

The rivalry took a new twist with the South African Communist Party (SACP), an ally to the ANC, trying to stop Telkom’s sale of a 15 percent stake in Vodacom to UK-based Vodafone.

According to a report, SACP said the sale would benefit the newly-established COPE because it would generate revenue for Smuts Ngonyama, who quit ANC to join COPE recently, and his Elephant consortium.

“SACP could be putting a new spanner in South Africa’s telecommunications works if its plea for government to halt Telkom’s sale of a 15 percent stake in Vodacom to UK-based Vodafone is heeded,” warned an analyst.

He added, “It is unfortunate that SACP deputy secretary-general Jeremy Cronin believes the transaction was pushed through without consultation.”

The ANC and COPE do not see eye to eye at the moment with its leaders involved in verbal public spates.

The woes started recently when the ANC dismissed former President Thabo Mbeki from the presidency after allegations that he had interfered in the graft case against current party leader Jacob Zuma.

By Mthulisi Sibanda