Sowetan

Ramaphosa hits hard at Guptas, collaborat­ors

- Ranjeni Munusamy

Cyril Ramaphosa walked into the SACP’s 14th national congress as ANC deputy president and walked out as the guy to beat in the race for the governing party’s top job.

In a presidenti­al campaign speech that shaded all the rhetoric and subliminal messaging of the succession battle, Ramaphosa used the platform to hit hard at the Gupta family and those within the ANC who collaborat­e with them.

Ramaphosa was speaking on behalf of the ANC after President Jacob Zuma was told he was not welcome.

Before the deputy president took to the podium, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Nthalintsh­ali reaffirmed the federation was supporting him to take over as ANC president.

The ANC had previously embargoed campaignin­g until after its policy conference that ended last week.

Ramaphosa, therefore, chose his moment well.

Speaking before an audience that was highly critical of state capture, Zuma and the Guptas, Ramaphosa had the SACP delegates eating out of his hands.

He said it was not possible to remain silent as damaging informatio­n about the corrupt activities of the Guptas continued to “spew” out into the public from the family’s e-mail trove.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to these revelation­s, nor can we keep quiet. We cannot keep quiet,” Ramaphosa said. “I for one will not remain quiet.”

He said people should not become numb to what is happening in the country.

“We now know‚ without any shred of uncertaint­y‚ that billions of rands of public resources have been diverted into the pockets of a few. We also know taxpayers of this country also paid for a lavish wedding that took place in Sun City. And we also know that these resources rightfully belonged to the people of South Africa.”

The deputy president also lashed out at British PR firm Bell Pottinger, which he said had produced slogans to “sow div isions” among citizens.

“Some amongst us were so gullible, believing in slogans that were crafted in London and brought here to confuse us,” he said.

There was a heated debate at the ANC policy conference on the issue of “white monopoly capital”, which was among the terms planted by Bell Pottinger to agitate racially divisive public discourse on the economy. The majority of ANC delegates decided to drop “white” from the final reports.

Some SACP structures are pushing for the party to contest elections on their own, but Ramaphosa cautioned delegates against making decisions based on their anger with the ANC and the Guptas.

“Pause before you sign off on that resolution,” he said. Among those who congratula­ted Ramaphosa as he left the venue were the former minister and deputy minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas.

‘ ‘ We can not turn a blind eye to the revelation­s. I will not remain quiet

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