Now’s the time for strong, decisive leadership

Ramaphosa’s remarks aimed at Magashule indicate he is no longer sitting back and allowing his opponents to seize the political initiative.

We hope that the thinly veiled attack on ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule this week by President Cyril Ramaphosa is a sign that the leader of the ruling party is about to start his own fight-back against malcontents within its ranks, who are trying to reverse the decision of the December 2017 elective conference.

Despite the ducking and diving and denials from Magashule, political experts believe it is clear that he and those still loyal to former president Jacob Zuma are not only bitter about their reversal last year in the leadership race, they are also plotting to remove Ramaphosa.

In taking Magashule and his clique to task, Ramaphosa skilfully used the language of his venue, because he was speaking to delegates at the annual conference of trade union federation Cosatu.

In his best socialist voice, Ramaphosa called those who wanted to divide the ANC “counter-revolutionaries” and he said they should be “exposed”.

Ironically, that sort of language is similar in tone to that used by Zuma and his supporters to rail against “white monopoly capital” in the dying days of that regime.

However, Ramaphosa’s point was clear: division in the ranks will cost the ANC dearly at next year’s polls. So, it must be unity above all else.

We will not comment on whether unity is truly achievable in an ANC which is so riven by factionalism and by naked ambition and greed, but Ramaphosa’s remarks indicate he is no longer sitting back and allowing his opponents to seize the political initiative.

We think it is about time he started taking on these people.

This is because the constant talk of disunity and plotting adds to the already unstable atmosphere in this country … an ambience which impacts everything from investor confidence to the morale of ordinary citizens.

Now, more than ever, this country needs strong, decisive leadership.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

Ace Magashule Cyril Ramaphosa