Cyril apology casts doubt on PEC election
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.