Dirty tricks won't halt march to higher office
DEPUTY President Cyril Ramaphosa has thrown down the gauntlet on his detractors whom he believes are using “dirty tricks” to thwart his ambition to ascend the presidency, saying he won’t be deterred.
Ramaphosa seemed unperturbed as he again tried to shrug off the controversy around his private life and alleged sex scandal while addressing thousands of his supporters in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State yesterday. He hit back at his foes in the ANC, telling them their smear campaign won’t deter him.
“Right now, there has emerged a time of dirty tricks, where (strange) things are spoken about those who want to be leaders, targeting this one (today), that one (tomorrow),” Ramaphosa said, speaking mainly in Sesotho.
“But we are made of sterner character and won’t be deterred. Forward we go and backwards, never. We won’t allow, as we go to the conferences, this dirty tricks of attacking people ...” he said to rapturous applause.
Ramaphosa is vying for the position of ANC presidency, and former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is seen as his main contender. Following the publication of details of his alleged scandal last week, in which he admitted to cheating on his wife eight years ago, Ramaphosa described the allegations as a smear campaign and said state resources were being used in an effort to tarnish his name and those of other leaders.
Ramaphosa denounced the spate of political killings in KZN, and appealed to ANC members to resolve their political differences amicably through debate. Almost 20 ANC officials have been murdered in KZN in the past two years, and the death of former ANC Youth League secretary Sindiso Magaqa, who succumbed to a gunshot wound this week, appears to have jolted the ANC.
Ramaphosa called for a return to the founding principles of the ANC to restore the party’s integrity. He said political education was needed to achieve this. “Comrades, the whole nation has woken up to this ANC that we want to be.
“We want the ANC that has political education to ensure we keep the values of the ANC, the integrity of the ANC and avoid anything and any attempt that is going to divert us.
“The political killings, as seen in KZN, where specific people are targeted and killed, that is not the way the ANC works. It is not the behaviour and the tradition of the ANC to target those that you differ with by using dirty tricks against them and killing them.
“This is what we see happening in KZN, and we are saying that this must come to and end. Where we differ, we must differ with debate and persuasion.”
He also appealed for unity within the ANC to help restore the confidence of people in Africa’s oldest liberation movement.
“Comrades, we must be a united ANC, the ANC that shines out as an example to the rest of the people. People will not respect our movement if we are busy slaughtering each other.
“Now, as members of the ANC, we need to be guided by the values of the ANC, the principle of the ANC. Comrades, it is important in this phase of our Struggle to focus on that which enables the lives of our people to be better, and behave in such a way that we are capable of running the economy of South Africa.”
More than 5 000 people attended yesterday’s rally at Mohaladitwe Primary School in QwaQwa, which is part of the ANC’s Thabo Mofutsanyana region to endorse Ramaphosa’s campaign.
Even ANC Women’s League members defied an alleged instructions from the provincial leaders not to attend rallies linked to Ramaphosa by wearing their regalia CR17 (Cyril Ramaphosa 2017).
Free State convener Nthabiseng Lengau confirmed that they were in defiance of their regional leadership. Lengau said the instruction came after the Minister of Education Angie Motshekga addressed a rally in QwaQwa on August 26.
She said their regional leaders then informed the through SMS to boycott Ramaphosa rallies in the province. “They told us to boycott all Ramaphosa events.”.
She said their national leadership did not consult them when they endorsed Dlamini Zuma as the candidate for the ANC presidency.
Lengau was adamant that Ramaphosa was widely supported in the Free State.
She said a similar rally will be held in Botshabele on Saturday.
One of the organisers, Abiel Mokotso, a former regional secretary, said the different branches in the region were in support of Ramaphosa’s campaign.
“Whoever said the Free State was in support of Nkosana Dlamini Zuma, was not talking on our behalf.” The ANC provincial conference was due to be held last month but has been postponed indefinitely.
For an editorial on our story on Ramaphosa last weekend, see Page 16. Also see Page 2 for a note on the editor.
ONWARPATH: ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa leaves Mankwane village in Qwa Qwa, Free state, after addressing a rally there.