Cyril apol­ogy casts doubt on PEC elec­tion

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Zine Ge­orge

DEPUTY Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa has cast doubt on the le­git­i­macy of the re­cent Eastern Cape ANC elec­tive con­fer­ence, af­ter he apol­o­gised for grac­ing the event even though he was aware that there was vi­o­lence at the meet­ing.

He made the ad­mis­sion in Ped­die on Sun­day where he met branch lead­ers of the Amath­ole re­gion – whose ex­ec­u­tive an­nounced that they would lobby sup­port for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over as ANC pres­i­dent, not Ramaphosa.

The newly elected PEC has a dif­fer­ent view. The con­fer­ence which ended on Oc­to­ber 2 as­signed the ex­ec­u­tive to lobby other prov­inces to sup­port Ramaphosa as pres­i­dent, in line with ANC tra­di­tion.

Ramaphosa was the only ANC na­tional of­fi­cial who at­tended the ANC’s elec­tive meet­ing which elected Os­car Mabuyane as pro­vin­cial chair­man.

Mabuyane’s ri­vals, in­clud­ing the then-pro­vin­cial chair­man Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle, left the venue as del­e­gates started throw­ing chairs at each other.

But Ramaphosa has apol­o­gised for ad­dress­ing the con­fer­ence, say­ing: “This was never de­lib­er­ate. It was never to put a par­tic­u­lar agenda.

“Please ac­cept this and un­der­stand it. I will in­form them [ANC lead­ers] that you have raised this mat­ter,” he said.

His apol­ogy came a day be­fore the na­tional work­ing com­mit­tee met at the East Lon­don ICC yes­ter­day to try to find a so­lu­tion af­ter Ma­su­alle of­fi­cially lodged a com­plaint to the party’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Gwede Man­tashe, ques­tion­ing the le­git­i­macy of Mabuyane’s ex­ec­u­tive.

The ANC branch and re­gional lead­ers at the Ped­die meet­ing with Ramaphosa de­manded his ex­pla­na­tion on why he came to en­dorse the elec­tive meet­ing even though he was aware that an­other group­ing had left the venue amid the vi­o­lence.

De­tail­ing the events of that day, Ramaphosa said on his ar­rival in East Lon­don on the last day of the con­fer­ence, his body­guards told him about the vi­o­lent in­ci­dent, but when they called the hos­pi­tals which ad­mit­ted some of the vic­tims, he was told all those who were ad­mit­ted had been dis­charged.

This was be­fore he ad­dressed the del­e­gates at the con­fer­ence venue.

“I did ask why are oth­ers out­side the venue and this was ex­plained. I did com­mit to fa­cil­i­tate a meet­ing which would bring the two groups to­gether.

“Please un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tion I found my­self in be­cause as of­fi­cials some­times we are put in those kinds of sit­u­a­tions where if you go you are damned, and if you don’t go you are also damned,” Ramaphosa said.

This is Ramaphosa’s sec­ond re­cent apol­ogy af­ter the first meet­ing with na­tional of­fi­cials where trea­surer-gen­eral Zweli Mkhize ques­tioned Ramaphosa’s de­ci­sion to speak at the con­fer­ence de­spite the con­tro­ver­sies lead­ing to the elec­tion of the ex­ec­u­tive.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa could not be reached for com­ment last night as he was tak­ing part in the top-level ANC meet­ing at the ICC.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

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