NATIONAL NEWS - More and more senior ANC members are coming forward to demand that the party’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa step aside.
This as the party’s national executive committee meets this weekend while the shadow of Covid-19 related corruption hangs over its head.
Ekurhuleni mayor, Mzwandile Masina, was the latest to call for Ramaphosa to resign, but he did not say what charges Ramaphosa should face.
Masina insisted that all ANC members who face charges of fraud and corruption must step aside according to a resolution taken at the ANC’s Nasrec conference in late 2017.
He echoed the sentiments of Tony Yengeni, former chair of the portfolio committee on defence, who said Ramaphosa must lead by example and step down. Yengeni himself was convicted and served a sentence for fraud pertaining to the Arms Deal.
In a broadside attack on Ramaphosa, Masina said it was wrong for the party’s president to accuse the ANC of being corrupt. He said ANC must be consistent in its action against corruption and not act according to party loyalty.
“Any member who had transgressed the ANC resolution must assist the party and resign including Ramaphosa. There is no ANC member who is above the ANC including the President. If you have allegations of corruption and fraud in court, please step aside. We need the ANC of Oliver Tambo,” Masina said.
This week members of the Magashule-Zuma faction came out one by one to increase pressure Ramaphosa to account for alleged vote buying at the 2017 Nasrec national conference. They want to exploit a provision in one of the ANC’s resolutions requiring all those facing allegations of fraud and corruption to step aside.
Yengeni Friday said Ramaphosa must lead by example by resigning, but did not give a concrete reason for saying so.
On Saturday Andile Lungisa, former ANC Youth League deputy president and a Nelson Mandela Bay councillor, in a tweet, seemingly accused Ramaphosa –without naming him directly – of committing treason: ‘A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. The movement of Luthuli and Tambo must cleanse itself of the Judas’s who have sold our people’s total emancipation for silver if it to survive.”
He echoed the words of former president Jacob Zuma, who explicitly said in an open letter to Ramaphosa on Friday that the President had sold out the party with 30 pieces of silver as Judas Iscariot is said to have done.
Zuma further accused Ramaphosa of not only betraying the ANC’s founding fathers, but of also failing to implement the party’s national conference resolutions on land expropriation, nationalisation of the SA Reserve Bank, radical economic transformation and free education.
Ramaphosa’s strength in fighting the onslaught against him is doubted. Unlike the Zuma camp that had been vocal and releasing written statements, his supporters are visibly absent in the ensuing public party spat.
His backers such as Derek Hanekom, Enoch Godongwana, Fikile Mbalula, Naledi Pandor and Pravin Gorhan had not responded to the public statements issued by their fellows on the opposite side.
Political analyst, Prof Lesiba Teffo said it was for the ANC leaders to accept that the glue that held the party together was too weak to sustain the organisation. He said Zuma no longer carried the moral authority as an elder to stand as a judge on corruption against others. He hoped that Ramaphosa would not enter the fray he was being dragged into by his opponents who were attempting to tarnish his image.