I won’t be part of those who steal – Phosa

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

Mathews Phosa, who has his eye on the ANC pres­i­dency, has warned loot­ers of state re­sources that he would throw them in jail should he be elected pres­i­dent of the party in De­cem­ber and the country in 2019.

Phosa was in Shatale, out­side Bush­buck­ridge, yes­ter­day where he un­of­fi­cially launched his cam­paign at an Oliver Tambo me­mo­rial lec­ture.

He tore apart Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s ad­min­is­tra­tion for hav­ing not launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the leaked Gupta emails.

“The Gup­tas steal ev­ery day and noth­ing hap­pens. When pres­i­dent Zuma is asked about the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Gup­tas he says we must go and ask them. Who is the pres­i­dent?

“The peo­ple of this country must rebel against cor­rup­tion. If I am elected pres­i­dent, I will throw them in jail,” Phosa said, adding that Zuma was shame­less.

The former ANC trea­surer-gen­eral said strug­gle icon Tambo would be shocked if he were alive to see what was hap­pen­ing.

“If he was still alive, he would say this cor­rup­tion in the country must be in­ves­ti­gated. OR Tambo fought in the strug­gle for all of us … not for Duduzane [Zuma’s son] or his own son, Dali. Zuma is a naked emperor,” Phosa said.

He also said that it was a shame that the Marikana mas­sacre hap­pened un­der an ANC-led govern­ment. He said the killings had high­lighted the mine work­ers’ strug­gle for de­cent salaries and proper hous­ing.

Phosa said that he had es­tab­lished cam­paign teams in Mpumalanga’s four re­gions to help him reach out to ANC mem­bers and com­mu­ni­ties.

The start of Phosa’s cam­paign in the East­ern Cape a few weeks ago was a low key af­fair.

In Shatale, Phosa ad­dressed about 100 sup­port­ers wear­ing his #Siyaphosa MP 17 T-shirts. Or­gan­is­ers blamed the low turnout to the lec­ture on the on­go­ing ini­ti­a­tion sea­son.

Though Phosa is a former premier of the prov­ince, sup­port for him in Mpumalanga has dipped in re­cent years.

Cur­rent Premier David Mabuza is in con­trol of the prov­ince’s ANC struc­tures and has be­come the most sought af­ter man by pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls who are court­ing him.

Mabuza wants to be deputy pres­i­dent but has kept his pre­ferred pres­i­den­tial can­di­date close to his chest over con­cerns that fac­tions were wedg­ing di­vi­sions be­tween mem­bers of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. He has ad­vo­cated for new lead­ers to be elected in De­cem­ber based on con­sen­sus or an agreed-upon process by all del­e­gates to avoid di­vi­sions.

Phosa, how­ever, had a dif­fer­ent view, and said as many as 10 can­di­dates should con­test the pres­i­dency.

“The ANC is a demo­cratic party and the best man or woman must win,” he said.

He warned that if lead­ers were elected based on some sort of ar­range­ment, ANC branches would be de­nied a voice and die.

“We must unite the ANC on a ba­sis of val­ues and prin­ci­ples. I am not go­ing to be part of those peo­ple who steal and then say let’s unite. I’m not part of a pop­ulist ANC, and when we don’t agree on good gov­er­nance, I’m not part of that,” he said.

Phosa’s chief na­tional cam­paigner, Andile Lili, did not mince his words, and la­belled Mabuza a killer and ac­cused fel­low pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Nkosazana DlaminiZuma of hav­ing brought the Gup­tas into South Africa when she was for­eign af­fairs (now in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions) min­is­ter.

“Don’t be afraid of DD [Mabuza]. Robert Gumede [busi­ness­man] is dreaming when he thinks Mabuza can be the country’s deputy pres­i­dent. Can DD re­ally pass through the eye of the nee­dle?” Lili asked.

He said it would be point­less to elect Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa be­cause “he would ex­change the Gup­tas for the Ru­perts”.

Mathews Phosa

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