Sunday Observer - - NEWS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG - While they have been mount­ing a spir­ited de­fence, with ev­ery pass­ing week the for­mer pres­i­dent’s loy­al­ists are on shakier ground.

As the sud­den fall of Tom Moy­ane still re­ver­ber­ated ahead of a cru­cial ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing (NEC) this week­end, Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s hand has been strength­ened to deal with the re­main­ing loy­al­ists in the Zuma camp.

And, say an­a­lysts, as Ramaphosa demon­strates clearly that he is fol­low­ing his words with ac­tion, the other Zuma domi­noes are bound to fall, be­cause they have no moral stand­ing in the eyes of so­ci­ety.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Ralph Mathekga said the Zuma camp fight­back cam­paign – which is cen­tred on ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Ace Ma­gashule and ousted North West premier Supra Mahumapelo – is bound to fail be­cause it is set on a weak base.

He said not only are they fac­ing Ramaphosa but the en­tire South African so­ci­ety, which sees them as lack­ing moral­ity as leaders be­cause of the cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions that sur­round them.

Mathekga said there was no turn­ing back by Ramaphosa af­ter the Nh­lanhla Nene de­ba­cle, which set the bar so high that it would be very dif­fi­cult for the pres­i­dent not to act against Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba.

“Should he fail to act, he would be seen as be­ing com­plicit in the sins sur­round­ing Gi­gaba and oth­ers,” said Mathekga.

Ramaphosa’s de­ci­sion to fire the sus­pended South African Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) com­mis­sioner has fur­ther pushed the Zuma camp on to the back foot.

Moy­ane’s loss is a dev­as­tat­ing blow for the Zu­maites, which launched a fight­back last month that aimed to top­ple the en­tire Nas­rec ANC lead­er­ship and chal­lenge all its de­ci­sions.

Mahumapelo is lead­ing the cam­paign. He and his for­mer ANC pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers are chal­leng­ing the ANC NEC’s de­ci­sion to dis­band the North West pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. They want the courts to nul­lify it.

Their case was post­poned yes­ter­day to an undis­closed date in the High Court in Jo­han­nes­burg.

In an­other move ap­par­ently taken to un­der­mine Ramaphosa, Ma­gashule sup­ported Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Nomvula Mokonyane in op­pos­ing the pend­ing re­trench­ments at the SABC. This is de­spite the fact that SABC re­trench­ments fit into the pres­i­dent’s over­all plan to trim the pub­lic ser­vice, which is bloated and con­sum­ing the largest chunk of the na­tional fis­cus.

Ma­gashule urged Mokonyane, the board and labour to en­ter into a di­a­logue to dis­cuss ways and means to avoid re­trench­ments.

SA Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

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