ANC president and country’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa made good on his January 8 statement.
Delivering the main address at an event where Jacob Zuma was left with an egg on his face after arriving late to find the programme in full swing with Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta in tow, Ramaphosa spoke of his plans to tackle corruption.
Speaking in Venda, Ramaphosa said he will be dealing with corruption and bemoaned how state capture has eroded the ruling party’s credibility. The multi-lingual businessman switched to other languages as he explained that all deployees in all three sphere of government will be made to account for corrupt practices.
It is reported that upon returning to Johannesburg Ramaphosa wasted no time in stamping his authority and signalling to his cabinet colleagues that the new sheriff in town intends to sweep away the dirt, even under the rug.
Ramaphosa is said to have met with Justice Minister Michael Masutha and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. Ramaphosa had previoudly gone on record as saying the criminal justice system and investigative agencies must be freed from political interference.
Although it is not entirely clear if Ramaphosa threw down the gauntlet on his colleagues, the wheels of justice started turning the very next day with Mbalula announcing at a press conference changes to the police senior ranks.
Mbalula announced that embattled police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli’s employment will be terminated. He also sacked former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza and instructed that the position be filled as soon as possible.
The City Press says, however, that what really ticked off pro-Ramaphosa backers in the NEC was Zuma’s decision on Thursday to appeal the court ruling that he cedes his right to appoint the NDPP to his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Perceiving this decision as “disrespectful”, Zuma also riled the ANC leaders when he insisted on the expansion of terms of reference into state capture and his intention to fill SOEs executive leadership with his supporters.
New Eskom’s board is understood to have been completely drawn without Zuma or the minister responsible, Lynne Brown. It is believed that by the time the NEC meeting sat on Friday evening, the pro-Ramaphosa group had just about had it with Zuma and even his own supporters knew that the writing was on the wall.