Faizel Patel
3 minute read
23 Apr 2022
3:36 pm

Ramaphosa launches campaign in Free State, sneaks in a swipe at Ace

Faizel Patel

In a thinly veiled swipe at suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, Ramaphosa called for an end to corruption in the former's home province.

Photo: Fikile Mbalula/Twitter

President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the African National Congress’ Letsema campaign in the Free State urging residents to join hands with the party to make the metro a “better place.”

In a swipe at suspended ANC secretary-general and former premier Ace Magashule, the president urged communities to help root out corruption in the province.

Ramaphosa launched the campaign at Toka Primary School in Bloemfontein.

The ANC president’s latest visit to the ailing Mangaung Metro comes two weeks after his presidential imbizo in the province.

Following the dismal performance of the ruling party in last year’s local government elections, the Letsema campaign aims to renew the ruling party’s social contract with voters and get party members and volunteers to address challenges in their communities.

During the campaign, Ramaphosa engaged with residents and also handed over keys to a resident after their home was destroyed by a fire in Mangaung.

Ramaphosa said the ANC wants to revive a spirit of working together with the people.  

“That is what Letsema is all about, we work together. So, we want to start a national campaign of working together to help the situation we are in right now.”

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa must act against Zuma-ites in ANC

Without referring to Magashule, Ramaphosa called for an end to corruption in the province.

Magashule, was suspended by the ANC last year after failing to step aside. He is facing a string of criminal charges in connection to the 2014 asbestos audit tender valued at R255 million.

This was related to assessing asbestos in houses in the Free State, however, the work was never done despite money exchanging hands.

It later emerged only R21 million worth of work – which was outsourced to a company with actual experience in the field – was conducted.

Magashule and his co-accused sought have the charges dropped after questioning the validity of the corruption and fraud charges levelled against them.

However, their applications were dismissed with costs by the Free State High Court’s Judge Soma Naidoo in March.

Ramaphosa said the ANC plans to work with communities to rebuild the party and root out corruption.

“We will be here amongst you our people working and joining hands with the ANC. Let us work together to put our metro right, clean up our metro, streets, close pot holes to get rid of corruption.”

“So, if you see anybody doing anything corrupt and stealing of public funds, come forth and speak up so we can stop corruption. I want corruption to come to an end, so that public funds can help the intended communities.

“All the thieves must just go…they must go because we are hot on their steps, they are going to jail.  So, let’s work together to stop corruption.”

Ramaphosa also made reference to the deadly KwaZulu-Natal floods.

“We are going to have a discussion in Parliament where we are going to tackle the disaster that has befallen our people in KwaZulu-Natal and in the Eastern Cape.

ALSO READ: The roof is caving in on Magashule in the Free State