President Cyril Ramaphosa’s enemies within the ANC have threatened to effect a citizen’s arrest over the Phala Phala farm burglary scandal.
This comes after Ramaphosa did not step down from his position as it was anticipated by the ANC’s radical economic transformation (RET) faction after former spy boss, Arthur Fraser, laid criminal charges against him at the beginning of the month.
However, with Ramaphosa still in his position several weeks after Fraser laid the charges, the RET faction is becoming worried that police might not charge Ramaphosa.
Nkosentsha Shezi, the KZN-based RET chairperson, said the faction would soon issue a directive for its members to arrest Ramaphosa.
“Our message to the police is clear — arrest Ramaphosa or else we will do it ourselves. We would like to advise the police that should they continue to drag their feet, then we will be left with no option but to exercise our constitutional right as citizens of this country.
“Apart from the fact that he concealed the robbery which took place at his farm, he has also been accused of instigating the torture of the suspects. Clearly, he has become a danger to society,” Shezi said.
Ramaphosa, who has maintained that he has not broken any of the country’s laws, recently said he would not heed calls for him to step down from his position. Two weeks ago, EFF MPs disrupted Ramaphosa’s budget speech as part of efforts to compel the president to vacate his position.
While Parliament has the power to remove the president, National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said there currently was no basis on which Parliament could act against Ramaphosa. As president of the ANC, Ramaphosa’s case could be decided on by the party’s integrity commission which is responsible for enforcing the ANC’s step-aside resolution compelling party members facing criminal charges to step down from their leadership positions.
However, the law enforcement agencies have not yet charged Ramaphosa, which makes it difficult for the integrity commission to act against him.
The Hawks, which are investigating the allegations against Ramaphosa, met Fraser a week ago.
According to Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo, the objective of the meeting was to enable the Hawk’s investigator to get clarity on some of the issues contained in Fraser’s affidavit. In his affidavit, Fraser alleged that Ramaphosa attempted to conceal the farm robbery, which took place in 2020, by not opening a criminal case at a police station.
While Ramaphosa said he reported the robbery to the head of the Presidential Protection Unit, Major General, Wally Roode, it had since been established that neither Roode nor any of the people associated with Ramaphosa opened a criminal case against the robbery suspects.
While the law enforcement agencies were yet to conclude their investigation, speculation was rife that Fraser’s decision to lay criminal charges against Ramaphosa was part of the ANC RET faction’s attempt to weaken the president’s re-election campaign ahead of the party’s national conference scheduled to take place in December.
However, Shezi denied this.
“Arthur Fraser wanted to open the eyes of South Africans. Surely, If the ANC or the country’s law enforcement agencies fail to act against Ramaphosa, the South Africa public would.
“South Africans, both black and white, will not rest until Ramaphosa leaves office,” Shezi said.
The KZN RET’s call for Ramaphosa to step down come on the heels of that of ANC heavyweight, Tony Yengeni.
Yengeni, who is aligned to the ANC RET faction, used a recent ANC National Working Committee (NWC) meeting to push for Ramaphosa’s removal in the face of the Phala Phala Farm robbery scandal. However, Yengeni’s call did not garner enough support in the NWC which is dominated by Ramaphosa’s supporters