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By Eric Naki

Political Editor


The economy is the least of Cyril’s worries as he arrives home

Zuma 'wanted to appear like he still wielded power in order to force the ANC to bargain with him due to fear of violence or losing power'.


President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the United Nations in the US for a week on a charm offensive to woo investors, returns home this weekend to a host of problems and tough decisions.

He might have convinced many leaders and business people abroad, but at home, matters within the ANC have deteriorated… and he has to decide the fates of some of his scandalous Cabinet ministers.

On top of the list is the minister in the presidency in charge of women, Bathabile Dlamini.

She was in the news once more this week after the Constitutional Court lambasted her for her role in the South African Security Agency’s (Sassa) grant payout scandal.

The court ordered that she should pay a portion of the cost of the matter in her personal capacity and that she misled the court as then minister of social development.

Justice Johan Froneman further said her conduct was inimical to values underpinning the constitution that she undertook to uphold as a minister.

The president is also likely to face criticism from within the ANC should he not act against justice and correctional services deputy minister Thabang Makwetla, who is embroiled in a bribery scandal involving Bosasa, a service provider to correctional services.

Makwetla confessed that Bosasa had installed security features at his house for free – but defended the matter by saying the firm was the only one available to him after his Cape Town house was broken into on January 5, 2016.

He said he was frustrated because of a possible perception of a conflict of interests.

He then urged Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson to bill him for the job, but he refused.

Ramaphosa also appears headed for a showdown with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who is unhappy with the Presidency’s failure to act against his (Ramaphosa’s) supporters, such as Makwetla.

Magashule criticised Ramaphosa for his recent scathing public attack against the alleged plot by the Jacob Zuma camp to oust the president.

Addressing a meeting where the ANC handed over a house to the mother of activist Stompie Seipei, Magashule this week defended his meeting with former president Zuma and others in a Durban hotel, where the alleged plot to oust Ramaphosa was discussed.

“I will continue to meet many leaders of the ANC and president Zuma is a part of the ANC. He is one of the best leaders ever produced by the ANC,” he said.

He vowed to continue meeting with anyone he wanted to meet with.

“I am Ace Magashule because of the ANC. I will meet many leaders of the ANC.”

The alleged plotters, who included Zuma, Magashule and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, all denied involvement in a plot.

But there were widespread rumours, particularly in the North West, that the Zuma camp was planning to launch a political party that would oppose the ANC in the 2019 elections. It is said they would use the existing ANC resources and structures, which they planned to dominate to undermine the ruling party within and finally kill it.

But political analyst Dirk Kotze recently told Saturday Citizen that Zuma was merely a powerless paper tiger.

Kotze said even if Zuma finally broke away from the ANC and formed a political party, as was rumoured, this would be a futile exercise.

“If he formed a political party it would be one of the smallest opposition parties in parliament.

“He is just using the idea of a party as a threat for the ANC to be nervous towards 2019.

“The main purpose is for his personal interest, which is to get out of courts,” Kotze said.

According to Kotze, Zuma wanted to appear like he still wielded power in order to force the ANC to bargain with him due to fear of violence or losing power.

“He wants to go to the ANC and say there is too much risk to continue with his cases and therefore the ANC must rather cancel his charges,” Kotze said.

Seipei was the child activist who was part of the Mandela Football Club operated by the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in the late ’80s.

ericn@citizen.co.za

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