NEW CYRIL OF­FEN­SIVE

ANC Youth League tar­gets Cyril, Pravin

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LUYOLO MKENTANE AND BALD­WIN ND­ABA

BARELY a day af­ter the eThek­wini branch of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) was forced to apol­o­gise to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han, the na­tional lead­er­ship of the struc­ture has again launched a se­ries of at­tacks against him.

And now Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa has joined Gord­han as the tar­get for the league’s ire over black un­em­ploy­ment.

These se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions were made by the na­tional youth league lead­er­ship, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent Collen Maine, at the St Ge­orge Ho­tel in Irene, Tsh­wane, yes­ter­day.

It was coin­ci­den­tally the same venue where the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee lek­gotla was un­der way to map a way for­ward for the gov­ern­ing party fol­low­ing its Jan­uary 8 state­ment.

The youth league, how­ever, chose to sin­gle out Ramaphosa and Gord­han as be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the in­creas­ing num­ber of job­less black peo­ple in the coun­try.

The al­le­ga­tions came af­ter The Star asked the youth lead­er­ship to clar­ify the call by its eThek­wini re­gion, which had called for the sack­ing for Gord­han.

That call was later re­tracted, but the na­tional lead­er­ship re­vived it.

ANCYL na­tional spokesper­son Mlondi Mkhize, in a clear sup­port for the call to sack Gord­han, said: “We ac­cept the apol­ogy of KZN, but agree with the con­tent of what they were say­ing. Why we agree with eThek­wini re­gion is, if you look at SAA at close range, you find ser­vice providers who’ve been do­ing busi­ness with SAA since 1973 and they are still be­ing pri­ori­tised.”

Mkhize said black-owned com­pa­nies were not al­lowed ac­cess to busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in SAA and other state-owned en­ter­prises (SOEs).

“Pravin Gord­han, as min­is­ter of fi­nance, ap­pointed con­sul­tants… to con­duct a turn­around strat­egy at SAA. What did (the avi­a­tion con­sul­tants) do? It ap­pointed… a com­pany linked to Ramaphosa. SAA was later also told to close some of its lu­cra­tive routes such as the Lon­don route,” Mkhize said.

The ANCYL also made sim­i­lar al­le­ga­tions about cer­tain peo­ple de­ployed by the ANC to take con­trol of SOEs, but who chose to use them for their own needs.

Sparks flew when mem­bers of the me­dia posed ques­tions to the youth league lead­er­ship, ask­ing them to ex­plain whether they were ac­cus­ing Ramaphosa and Gord­han of be­ing cor­rupt.

Mkhize, who was the first to lodge an at­tack on the two, evaded the ques­tion but claimed that Gord­han and Ramaphosa “were col­laps­ing SAA to ad­vance pri­vate busi­ness. SAA has a bud­get of R24 bil­lion… 98 per­cent is given to white com­pa­nies (con­sul­tants), 2 per­cent is given to blacks”.

Adding to the at­tack, ANCYL sec­re­tary-gen­eral Njabulo Nzuza said: “None of us here are say­ing Pravin Gord­han and the deputy pres­i­dent are cor­rupt. Two, there’s noth­ing sin­is­ter in any­one in gov­ern­ment own­ing shares; we are say­ing it must be dis­closed… We are wor­ried about bu­reau­cracy of the Trea­sury.

“But we don’t want ar­ti­cles say­ing Pravin and Ramaphosa are cor­rupt. Any­one must be found by the courts of law as cor­rupt.

“If there are any is­sues of cor­rup­tion, they must be found by a court of law. We are wary of lead­ers who will de­fend white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal,” Nzuza said.

Maine waded into the fray, say­ing the ANCYL was not say­ing the two were cor­rupt, but that they were in­deed “con­flicted”.

The ANCYL added that they would cam­paign for the re­turn of SAA to the Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­istry.

Re­act­ing to the al­le­ga­tions, Ramaphosa’s spokesper­son Ron­nie Mamoepa said: “The deputy pres­i­dent no longer has any fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests in busi­ness. In line with the ex­ec­u­tive code of ethics… he has dis­posed of all his in­ter­ests that may have cre­ated a con­flict of in­ter­est upon as­sump­tion of his du­ties as deputy pres­i­dent of SA.”

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe re­fused to be drawn into the spat, say­ing it was a silly sea­son of peo­ple throw­ing mud at each other. Na­tional Trea­sury spokesper­son Yolisa Tyantsi had not re­sponded to re­quests for com­ment at the time of pub­li­ca­tion. @luy­olomken­tane @Bald­winNd­aba See pages 2 and 6

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