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.

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