News | South Africa | Politics
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempt at whipping ANC members into line is nothing but a defence mechanism to counter the increasing pressure from his opponents, who are busy plotting his downfall, say political experts.
In the letter published at the weekend, Ramaphosa told party members that ANC intends to implement resolutions from Nasrec conference on corruption. He lambasted widespread graft in the party, saying the party NEC was mandated to deal with it decisively.
Analysts say Ramaphosa is trying to show that he can be trusted, while painting his enemies as the bad guys, but this is not enough to change the corruption status quo.
Political analyst Xolani Dube said if Ramaphosa was serious about fighting corruption within the ANC, he would have simply affirmed his support for ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s statement that all corrupt party members must account, and stepped aside instead of producing his own statement.
Dube, who is senior researcher at Xubera Institute for Research and Development, said Magashule’s call that ANC members with corruption allegations hanging over their heads must step aside, was a “great, practical and historical statement” because it was the first time practical steps to fight corruption in the ANC were suggested.
However, said the analyst, Magashule’s call was far from innocent, but a “well calculated trick” targeting Ramaphosa. He believes the president’s opponents aimed at trapping him around the concealed bank statements pertaining to his CR campaign funding for the 2019 election.
According to Dube, Ramaphosa preventing the publication of the bank statements proved that the “documents were a nuclear bomb” that could end Ramaphosa’s presidency.
Another political analyst, Dr Ralph Mathekga said Ramaphosa’s letter shows his desperation.
“Why should the president of a party write an open letter to the very comrades he is supposed to be leading and sitting in party meetings with? Why didn’t he just tell them straight to their faces in a party meeting?
“This is intended at one purpose and it is not a useful purpose for South Africans, the purpose is to show that Ramaphosa is not part of those who steal,” Mathekga said.
He said Ramaphosa is upset with his own comrades but that would change nothing.
He said indeed Magashule targeted Ramaphosa who is banking on South Africans outside the party to push back his opponents in his defence.
“The problem is that South Africans did not gain much from Ramaphosa’s presidency, why should they defend him against the ANC?” Mathekga asked.
Dube said Magashule and Ramaphosa are not singing the same song on the anti-graft approach
“Ace has already fired the first shot with his letter to say ANC members in office must take responsibility or account for corruption. This is the first statement in the history of the ANC to tackle corruption directly among ANC members, and it should have been supported.”
Magashule is seen to be weaponising corruption and his sights are set straight on the heart of Ramaphosa’s faction.
“It’s a very loaded letter. It’s a very calculated strategy and Cyril is at the receiving end, at the heart of which are his concealed statements. It says whoever is facing allegations of corruption must step aside, it’s not an innocent letter but a weapon (against Ramaphosa),” Dube said.
The analyst said Ramaphosa’s letter was just a public relations exercise and too biblical about dealing with graft.
“Cyril’s letter was meant to say ‘let’s negotiate’, yet Ace’s letter was quite good and practical,” Dube said.
The analyst doubts if Ramaphosa would finish his term of office, saying his opponents were intent on rocking the boat and fall with him if needed be.
“The Magashule-Zuma camp have nothing to lose, except to take Cyril to the hell-hole with them. They want to prove that ‘we are not the only ones that must be redeemed, but redeem us all’,” Dube said.
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