At­tacks on Ramaphosa meant to‘un­der­mine his can­di­da­ture’

The Sunday Independent - - DISPATCHES -

IN HIS ar­ti­cle, (“Marikana mas­sacre could be Ramaphosa’s down­fall”, Sun­day In­de­pen­dent, Au­gust 21) Sparks Mot­seki rightly points to how the Marikana tragedy is be­ing used by many to score po­lit­i­cal points.

Mot­seki says the tragedy, which is prob­a­bly one of the worst in South Africa’s his­tory, “has be­come a po­lit­i­cal foot­ball”.

How­ever, he then goes on to do the same thing he cau­tions against, by lay­ing the blame for the tragedy on Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa with the clear in­ten­tion of sow­ing doubt about Ramaphosa’s can­di­da­ture for ANC pres­i­dent.

Mot­seki ig­nores the find­ings of a ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry which, af­ter ex­am­in­ing the ev­i­dence of sev­eral wit­nesses, e-mails from Ramaphosa, phone records and two days of tes­ti­mony from him, es­tab­lished that there was no ba­sis – even on a prima fa­cie ba­sis – for the claim that Ramaphosa was re­spon­si­ble for any of the Marikana deaths on Au­gust 16, 2012.

Like oth­ers who view Ramaphosa as a threat to their po­lit­i­cal and per­haps fi­nan­cial am­bi­tions, Mot­seki sifts and strate­gi­cally uses pieces of in­for­ma­tion out of con­text and presents this as ev­i­dence to sup­port his claims against Ramaphosa.

This is the same ev­i­dence, viewed holis­ti­cally and in con­text, that was used by the Far­lam Com­mis­sion to clear Ramaphosa of any wrong­do­ing in re­la­tion to the events of Au­gust 16, 2012.

Mot­seki, like many oth­ers be­fore him, refers to a phrase con­tained in an e-mail to Lon­min man­age­ment and as­cribes a mean­ing to it that does not make sense in the con­text.

If one views all the cor­re­spon­dence from Ramaphosa, it is clear that “das­tardly crim­i­nal” acts re­fer to the mur­ders that had al­ready taken place, not the act of go­ing on strike.

Sim­i­larly, “con­comi­tant ac­tion” refers to ac­tion that is ap­pro­pri­ate and nec­es­sary to pre­vent fur­ther mur­ders.

If any­one is in any doubt about what “con­comi­tant ac­tion” means, they should re­fer to the e-mail re­port­ing on Ramaphosa’s con­ver­sa­tion with the then min­is­ter of po­lice Nathi Mthethwa on Au­gust 12, 2012, which was the last time he spoke to the min­is­ter be­fore that fate­ful day when 34 peo­ple lost their lives. It says: “As I in­di­cated, I spoke to the min­is­ter of po­lice again and stressed that they should im­me­di­ately take steps to en­sure that they pro­tect life and prop­erty and bring those re­spon­si­ble for the ter­ri­ble acts of vi­o­lence and death to book… Let us all keep cool heads.”

If the Far­lam Com­mis­sion con­sid­ered all the ev­i­dence be­fore it and de­clared that the ac­cu­sa­tions made against Ramaphosa were “ground­less”, one has to start ques­tion­ing Mot­seki’s mo­ti­va­tion for mak­ing such ac­cu­sa­tions now.

Per­haps he is a con­cerned cit­i­zen. But his record casts a big shadow of doubt on that pos­si­bil­ity, par­tic­u­larly when one takes into ac­count his close busi­ness ties with the con­tro­ver­sial Gupta fam­ily, whom we can rea­son­ably as­sume would be ad­versely af­fected should Ramaphosa be elected ANC pres­i­dent and sub­se­quently pres­i­dent of the coun­try.

Ramaphosa’s stance against cor­rup­tion and “state cap­ture” has clearly raised the ire of Mot­seki and his keepers, who have sprung into ac­tion with fake in­tel­li­gence re­ports and un­founded ac­cu­sa­tions aimed at dis­cred­it­ing Ramaphosa and un­der­min­ing his can­di­da­ture as the next pres­i­dent of the ANC.

Mem­bers of the ANC who will be at­tend­ing the Na­tional Con­fer­ence, as well as those who will be cast­ing their vote in the na­tional elec­tions in 2019 can see through the or­ches­trated at­tacks on Ramaphosa, and come elec­tion day, they will cast their vote against cor­rup­tion to chart a new course for the re­newal and restora­tion of the ANC and the re­vival of South Africa.

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