No go­ing back for pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Ramaphosa

CityPress - - News - HLENGIWE NHLABATHI hlengiwe.nhlabathi@city­press.co.za

Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa no longer has the op­tion to pull out of the ANC suc­ces­sion race be­cause his­tory would judge him harshly.

This is ac­cord­ing to his long­time friend-turned­cam­paign co­or­di­na­tor James Mot­latsi, who told City Press this week that Ramaphosa had learnt from for­mer deputy pres­i­dent Kgalema Mot­lanthe’s de­ci­sion to con­test Ja­cob Zuma for the pres­i­dency in Man­gaung in 2012 – a de­ci­sion which spared Mot­lanthe a lot of crit­i­cism.

“Is there any­one who can crit­i­cise Kgalema to­day? He con­tested, so his­tory will judge him fairly. There­fore Cyril must avail him­self,” Mot­latsi said, adding that the grow­ing num­ber of pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls was not a sign of ANC mem­bers’ lack of trust in Ramaphosa.

Mot­latsi is one of 12 cam­paign man­agers in the Ramaphosa camp, which is re­ported to be pre­dom­i­nantly white – a claim which Mot­latsi re­jected. Amid com­plaints of vote buy­ing and ma­nip­u­la­tion of mem­ber­ship, the CR17 team is in­tent on run­ning a clean cam­paign to boost pub­lic con­fi­dence, he said.

“We have come across other cam­paign teams which use money. Money can buy peo­ple but there is no­body who can buy the truth, even if you have a lot of money.

“To­day peo­ple, rich or poor, know the dif­fer­ence be­tween what is right and wrong. There­fore I don’t care about those who are buy­ing votes. We won’t be part of those buy­ing votes,” he said.

He said a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in the ANC ac­knowl­edged that the party had been weak­ened and wanted it to be strong again, even though they did not say this pub­licly like ANC MP

Makhosi Khoza.

Mot­latsi said a com­mit­tee for the Ramaphosa cam­paign was formed last year and that the cam­paign was, for some time, funded from com­mit­tee mem­bers’ own pock­ets.

He de­nied that the cam­paign was now be­ing funded by big busi­ness

Chief Jus­tice must then de­ter­mine a date and time within 30 days of the va­cancy oc­cur­ring for the Na­tional As­sem­bly to elect a new pres­i­dent from its mem­bers

If there is more than one can­di­date, this will be done by se­cret bal­lot

Mo­go­eng, or a judge nom­i­nated by him, will be the pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer

Once a per­son is elected pres­i­dent, that per­son is no longer a mem­ber of Par­lia­ment

If a new pres­i­dent is not elected within 30 days, Mbete must dis­solve the Na­tional As­sem­bly and new gen­eral elec­tions will have to be held and said that in­stead it was re­ceiv­ing con­tri­bu­tions from in­di­vid­ual busi­ness­peo­ple.

Mot­latsi said Ramaphosa was the best can­di­date and would not put his fam­ily’s in­ter­ests above those of the coun­try. He said he would not have taken charge of the cam­paign had he be­lieved Ramaphosa would not win.

“To be hon­est, if I didn’t have con­fi­dence that we would win I would have with­drawn my par­tic­i­pa­tion,” he as­serted, adding that he would rest only when the re­sults were an­nounced in De­cem­ber.

He was among those in the ANC who re­jected as un­demo­cratic the pro­posal to ac­com­mo­date a los­ing can­di­date in the ANC’s top brass as deputy pres­i­dent.

“I don’t have a prob­lem with [the idea of] a sec­ond deputy pres­i­dent of the ANC, but I have a prob­lem with how it should man­i­fest it­self. Peo­ple must be given a chance to con­test,” he said. He added that con­sen­sus must be reached on lead­er­ship based on the best in­ter­ests

Is Cyril Ramaphosa’s cam­paign for ANC pres­i­dent go­ing well?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word DE­BATE and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50 of the coun­try.

Should he win, Ramaphosa’s in­au­gu­ral speech will fo­cus on how he planned to grow the econ­omy and fix the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, he said.

He also de­fended Ramaphosa, who con­tin­ues to be haunted by the August 2012 Marikana mas­sacre. “Ten peo­ple had al­ready lost lives. That is what Cyril was wor­ried about when he said law en­force­ment needed to dis­arm these peo­ple. He didn’t know that law en­force­ment would use live am­mu­ni­tion. He was think­ing about 1987 and the loss of life.”

This was in ref­er­ence to the largest mine work­ers’ strike in South Africa af­ter which the then apartheid gov­ern­ment de­clared a state of emer­gency.

Ramaphosa, a po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist and for­mer trade union­ist, founded the Na­tional Union of Minework­ers to­gether with Mot­latsi in the 1980s and as gen­eral sec­re­tary led the his­toric 1987 strike on the gold belt that led to mass dis­missals.

With a few days to go be­fore the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Marikana mas­sacre, Mot­latsi said Ramaphosa would join strug­gle icon Win­nie Man­dela on a visit to Marikana.

Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng

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