President Cyril Ramaphosa warned Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and Cope leader Mosioua Lekota on Thursday against spreading untested rumours about people being apparent spies, as that would lead to serious consequences.
Ramaphosa was responding to the allegations made by Lekota in parliament on Wednesday when he’d accused the president of having sold out during the struggle.
The EFF released a statement on Wednesday calling for a commission of inquiry to investigate the allegations made by Lekota.
“The EFF takes seriously the allegations made by the leader of Cope Mosiuoa Lekota that President Ramaphosa collaborated with apartheid Special Branch and sold out his comrades, in order to avoid imprisonments around 1972-1974.
“As a result, the CIC Julius Malema has written to President Ramaphosa to allow the Chief Justice to appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate these allegations in order to clear the matter once and for all. For a president who believes in openness, accountability, and transparency, we expect that Ramaphosa will not refuse such an inquiry to take place,” said the party in a statement.
The president responded today and said he would not waste money on a commission, because the allegations were simple untrue.
He further reminded Malema that similar accusations have been made against him, after he went to London a few years ago.
“Honourable Malema, you visited London a few years ago and said that [Nelson] Mandela was a sellout. And then there were reports, and those reports kept coming, and I was not even intending to raise it here, but I do so because we do need to deal with this issue because it is cancerous.”
He then mentioned Britain’s foreign secret intelligence service, MI6, which is famous for being the group the fictional James Bond character works for.
“The report that came out was that the EFF was an MI6 project. I rejected that because I knew we were dealing with people of good character, that you would never go to that extent, and they keep coming with the position that one holds now. In the end you need to deal with the character of the person. I have rejected those types of statements, Malema, because I look at you and your character and your commitment to the people of this country.”
The same accusations were made against former president Nelson Mandela, said Ramaphosa, who further said he’d asked Walter Sisulu about them.
“Many people said Nelson Mandela was selling out. They said he was selling out because he had agreed to be separated from his comrades and was therefore alone and being manipulated and selling out. That is the story that was being peddled around, but then I met Walter Sisulu, a wise and leading comrade of our movement. When I asked him about this I said: ‘How did you, as the elder of our movement, handle this?’
“They said: ‘We were never concerned about this. We looked at the character of the leader that Nelson Mandela was. That’s what we looked at. Having examined the character and seeing the commitment that he had made to the freedom of our people, we were least concerned about that.”
He asked MPs to refrain from making such accusations in future because they could lead to the deaths of the comrades.
“Beware of the wedge-driver. Watch his poisonous snake. I can testify I’ve never ever been a spy, I’ve never worked with the enemy. All I’ve ever done in my life is my commitment to the people of our country. That’s all,” he said.