Tag Archives: Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa – Ramaphosa slams abuse of ‘radical economic transformation’ to defend state capture

Mail and Guardian

Dineo Bendile 20 Jun 2017 19:53

Ramaphosa called on South Africans to look beyond the misuse of radical economic transformation as an empty slogan. (David Harrison/M&G)
Ramaphosa called on South Africans to look beyond the misuse of radical economic transformation as an empty slogan. (David Harrison/M&G)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has lashed out against ANC leaders who intentionally misuse the term radical economic transformation to hide alleged incidents of state capture.

Ramaphosa says the term has come to gain a negative reputation because of a carefully-crafted narrative, which seeks to paint anyone questioning wrongdoing in government as an enemy of transformation.

“We now know that some highly paid PR specialises contrived a plan to use terms such as radical economic transformation and white monopoly capital essentially to launch a publicity offensive in defence of their clients. And we all know who those clients are,” Ramaphosa said.

“It was part of defining a new narrative where those who stood in the way of their clients’ interests were presented as being opposed to radical economic transformation and representing the interests of what one would call white monopoly capital”.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg today during a leadership engagement forum on issues facing the country’s economy.

Earlier this year, international public relations firm Bell Pottinger was uncovered to have masterminded a “white monopoly capital” campaign around the Guptas to improve their image and deflect attention from their questionable dealings with government. The campaign also involved using Radical Economic Transformation as a defence of Gupta business dealings.

Those who have brandished the term are known to be supporters of president Jacob Zuma and, by extension, are supporting Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over as president.

Ramaphosa called on South Africans to look beyond the misuse of radical economic transformation as an empty slogan and work towards achieving “sustained inclusive growth” through its proper implementation

“We should not be distracted or even side-tracked by the misuse of the term. What we need to do is to go beyond slogans. Is to go to the heart of the matter and look what needs to be done to redress the imbalances of past,” Ramaphosa continued.

“We must therefore focus on the real substance of radical economic transformation and the steps that need to be taken should be steps all of us as South Africans take”.

South Africa – Captura Continua: Will the Guptas determine the ANC succession race?

Daily Maverick (South Africa)

    • Ranjeni Munusamy
      ranjeni munusami BW



Three weeks after the Guptas’ private email correspondence began cascading into the public domain, revealing the depth of the capture of the South African state, we are yet to see outrage and a fightback from the ANC. The party elected to govern by South African people, but now essentially cuckolded by the Guptas, has shown it is powerless against the family. The Guptas appear to be still pushing buttons behind the scenes and their main focus is to ensure that they stack the deck at the ANC’s 54th national conference, mostly to secure their new Number One. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY. 20

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has publicly accepted nomination for the position of ANC president, making her the first woman in the history of the 105-year-old organisation to contest the top leadership post. But far from this being a notable moment in history, it is the occasion for despair. Dlamini-Zuma has, without reservation, consented to becoming top of the ticket sponsored by the Gupta family. 31

Up to this point, one could still give Dlamini-Zuma the benefit of the doubt that she was simply riding the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) wave and would distinguish herself from the Gupta herd. But last week the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) announced its leadership slate, the first ANC structure to do so formally. 27

“Comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the president of the ANC, comrade David Mabuza as the deputy president of the ANC, Comrade Ace Magashule as the secretary general of the ANC, Comrade Nathi Mthethwa as the national chair of the ANC, DSG for monitoring and evaluation Comrade Jessie Duarte, DSG for organising and campaigns Comrade Fikile Mbalula and the treasurer general Comrade Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,” ANCYL secretary general Njabulo Nzuza announced at a media briefing following their national executive committee meeting. 29

The ANCWL’s endorsement of Dlamini-Zuma and declaration that it wanted more women in the top leadership of the party at least had the veneer of punting the gender ticket. There was no such effort by the ANCYL. Mbalula, a former ANCYL president, was nominated for a position that does not even exist constitutionally in the ANC. Besides, Mbalula is now 46 years old and can hardly qualify as a “youthful” candidate in the leadership race. The second youngest person on the ANCYL slate is Mthethwa, who at 50 years old is hardly a spring chicken himself. 24

So what is the Youth League up to? And why is Dlamini-Zuma such a willing participant in this agenda? 7

In January ANCYL president Collen Maine indicated that their choice of presidential candidate would send “shockwaves” throughout the ruling party. 12

“These candidates who have been mentioned are part of the system. They have been part of the system we want to change. We need bold leadership. We need a second revolution that will cause ruptures in the economy,” Maine told Reuters back then. 36

Either Maine overestimated the impact of their endorsement of Dlamini-Zuma or their hand was forced to change the “shockwave” candidate they had in mind. There was also talk a few months ago that the ANCYL slate would include Malusi Gigaba, now the finance minister, and Mbalula, for top posts. Clearly that did not materialise. 19

The #GuptaLeaks exposed that Maine was being scripted by the family’s PR firm Bell Pottinger to further their manufactured white monopoly capital narrative. 29

So what else are Maine and his organisation doing on behalf of the Guptas? 19

Since the release of their emails, there have been no public moves by the Guptas. They have gone to ground and not responded publicly to any of the revelations against them. Clearly the family does not believe their ecosystem has been significantly disturbed by the revelations or the reaction to them. 25

While Gigaba and his public enterprises counterpart Lynne Brown are floundering to keep their heads above water, the people who should be most affected by the leak of the tranche of emails are manoeuvring from their place of seclusion. They are doing what they do best – arranging the political playing field to protect themselves and advance the interests of their business empire. 37

There are two positions in the ANC leadership that the Guptas need in particular to keep their project on track: president and secretary general. The ANCYL slate stitches that up for them. 21

President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane have been worthwhile investments for the family – both performing as lead marionettes in the Gupta extravaganza. But when Zuma ceases to be ANC president, his power diminishes and he would become a lame duck in the state. Duduzane will then be expendable – unless he is able to act as middleman to the successor as well. 19

Enter Dlamini-Zuma, his stepmother and willing advocate of the “radical economic transformation” narrative that Duduzane and Bell Pottinger conjured up. 26

There have been many moments in the chaos of this year when the former African Union Commission chairperson could have distanced herself from the chaos of the Zuma presidency. If hers was to be a clean, capture-free presidency, the most obvious move would have been to put fresh air between herself from Zuma’s disastrous midnight Cabinet reshuffle. After all, as a potential president, Dlamini-Zuma would inherit the consequences of that suicidal move – a downgraded and junked economy. Surely it would make sense to separate herself from that mess. 32

It would also have been logical for Dlamini-Zuma to distance herself from the stench of the Gupta emails, especially considering they had nothing to do with her. The campaign of her main competitor, Cyril Ramaphosa, has been significantly strengthened by him speaking out against state capture and repeatedly calling for a judicial commission of inquiry into the mounting allegations. Ramaphosa’s campaign has morphed into an anti-corruption ticket basically by him stating the obvious: a full-scale, credible investigation is required. 30

But Dlamini-Zuma is doing no such thing. She is not making any effort to separate herself from the capture contagion. Clearly it serves her agenda. 41

The secretary general position is essential to control the functioning of the ANC. While the Guptas might not have captured Gwede Mantashe, his erraticism and volatility did not do much to protect the ANC from their influence. But the Guptas did have a handy insider in the office of the ANC secretary general in the form of Mantashe’s deputy, Jessie Duarte. She is entangled in their network and also exposed as talking to their script. 32

The Guptas are now looking to seize control of the office of the secretary general entirely. Free State Premier Ace Magashule is the candidate who will deliver the ANC in its entirety to the family. 34

Magashule has already been a handy asset for the Guptas, delivering massive provincial deals and feeding their media entities through the provincial coffers. His sons, Tshepiso and Thato, were exposed in the emails as having been ensnared in the Gupta network for some time. Magashule clearly has ambitions and a higher calling now. 33

Opposition to his candidacy came from a surprise source in the past few days. Mbalula indulged in a spontaneous Twitter blast in which he recommended Gauteng Premier David Makhura for the position of secretary general. 25

“Ace Magashule a definite no no no the man will finish what is remaining of our movement he will kill it inffect #Thinkingaloudbeyond,” Mbalula tweeted. This was followed by: “Ancyl let’s rally behind David Makhura as a replacement to Gweede Mantashe #ThinkingBeyondFactions”. 12

Mbalula reaffirmed his sentiments to the Sunday Times, saying he had nothing against Magashule personally but believed the secretary general position was essential to the ANC’s survival. 16

“The office of the SG comes with a lot of integrity. It must not take sides and annihilate people and run comrades to the ground,” said Mbalula. Clearly the police minister does not think too highly of the candidate nominated by the ANCYL. But Mbalula’s tweets do open the debate beyond the Gupta-endorsed slate and the faction rallying behind Ramaphosa. 12

This weekend, Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile threw his weight behind Ramaphosa, saying he could protect the country from all forms of capture. He told the ANC’s West Rand regional general council that the ANC did not need cowards who would put the country up for sale. He also dispelled the debate over a woman president, saying the ANC needed a capable leader of whichever gender. 28

While Mashatile’s endorsement is indicative that Gauteng is likely to rally behind Ramaphosa, the province might be disorientated if there are more calls for Makhura to be deployed as a consensus candidate for secretary general. Gauteng is resolved that Mashatile should occupy one of the top six posts and has been negotiating with other provinces in this regard. 13

But all the debates and negotiations around succession might come to nothing if the ANC remains powerless to the interference of the Guptas in its processes. The infusion of dirty money to influence the votes of branch delegates has been a successful lobbying tactic in the past and will no doubt be used again. The Guptas have sufficient resources to splurge on this project, particularly as they have a massive vested interest in the outcome of the leadership elections. 28

Buying off a president has turned out to be a boon for the Guptas. Even though the state capture edifice is cracking, the Guptas know that capturing the top leadership of the ANC in December will allow them to regain their foothold and have unrestricted access to the state machinery and resources. 31

There is nothing to indicate that the ANC has the ability or willingness to stop them. The party has six months to fight off the biggest demon since apartheid – or be conquered by it. DM

  • Ranjeni Munusamy is a survivor of the Salem witch trials and has the scars to show it. She has a substantial collection of tattered t-shirts from having “been there and done it” – from government, the Zuma trials, spin-doctoring and upsetting the applecart in South African newsrooms. Following a rather unexciting exorcism ceremony, she traded her femme-fatale gear for a Macbook and a packet of Liquorice Allsorts. Her graduation Cum Laude from the School of Hard Knocks means she knows a thing or two about telling the South African story.

  • South Africa

South Africa’s foreign policy – back to the future

Institute for Security Studies (South Africa)


Will a new leader wake the party up to the realities of the 21st Century?
15 Jun 2017 <!––> by /  by Peter Fabricius

Later this month South Africa’s ruling party begins its five-yearly policy conference to determine the direction to be taken by the new African National Congress (ANC) president who will be elected in December. This is assuming that that person also becomes South Africa’s president after the 2019 national elections.

This week Edna Molewa, chair of the ANC’s sub-committee on international relations (and national environment minister), presented the party’s draft international relations document to be discussed at the policy conference. The document will then be adopted at the national elective conference in December.

The document is founded on the overarching principle of ‘progressive internationalism’. This is defined as ‘a radical perspective of international relations that the liberation movement developed out of the struggle for liberation … it entails opposition to the perpetuation of the legacy of global imperialism manifest in the global power asymmetry, the dominance of the global North over the South and the world, structural global inequality and poverty’.

Etcetera. You can feel the nostalgia. As three notable foreign policy analysts wrote this week in a provocative response to the policy paper, the ANC’s ‘perspectives on power dynamics in the world have travelled back in time, and are frozen in a world that no longer exists’.

Chris Landsberg and Mzukisi Qobo of the University of Johannesburg and Francis Kornegay of the Institute for Global Dialogue continued that since 2009 (the year President Jacob Zuma came to power) ‘the ANC has failed to offer animating ideas about the country’s place in the world’.

And, later, ‘the party sees the world as static and the tools with which to deal with the world look the same as those that were applicable over six decades ago. The party seems to have sleepwalked through the changes of the 1980s and the 1990s. There is an obsession in the paper with state sovereignty, but nothing of the rights of people against excesses by the very state elites who use the cover of sovereignty against state powers’.

The authors also accuse the drafters of blaming an unfavourable international economic environment – of rising nationalism and protectionism – for South Africa’s economic ills, rather than the ANC government’s own internal political faction fighting and policy ambivalence.

This week the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (the foundation of Germany’s Social Democratic Party – a historic ANC ally) and the ANC (led by Molewa) held a seminar in Johannesburg to discuss the party’s policy document. To be fair to the ANC, a few analysts pointed out that the document was an improvement on previous iterations.

Though ‘unashamedly’ still rooted in socialist ideology, as an ANC representative said, the paper does acknowledge some contemporary realities. It gives greater emphasis, for example, than previous versions to the continuing importance of the North (aka the West) in South Africa’s foreign relations.

That’s hardly surprising when the European Union (EU) is still by far South Africa’s largest trading partner and aid donor and when South Africa exports more value-added goods to the EU and US by far than to its close ally China.

And where previous foreign policy discussion documents railed at the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) – an obvious lightning rod for ideological indignation – this year’s paper takes a more nuanced view.

On the one hand, it warns that: ‘We must be wary of countries in the North, particularly the United States (and its allies) as well as France in its former colonies, involving itself by military means on the continent.’ On the other, it advises that the ANC examine AFRICOM more closely, ‘since it may take the form of military cooperation in the form of the war against terrorism or drugs, as opposed to a United States military base being established’.

Also, to be fair, the ANC policy document acknowledges that the world has changed in other ways from the grand ideological set piece battle scene it paints in its preamble.

It recognises that its great South-to-South champion BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is fraying at the edges. A conservative leadership has replaced the Workers’ Party in Brazil and another conservative party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is taking over from the ANC’s historical ally, the Indian National Congress, in New Delhi.

Nonetheless, the three analysts quoted above and other seminar participants pointed out several more important contemporary realities which seem to have been airbrushed out of the ANC’s sepia-tinted snapshot of the world.

Most importantly, they noted that the ANC’s big BRICS ally, China, though no doubt ideologically just as ill-disposed to the global ‘neo-liberal’ order as the ANC, had nonetheless adapted remarkably well to it – while also trying to adapt it. China even emerged, after the election of the isolationist US President Donald Trump, as the unlikely global champion of globalisation.

And the analysts noted that another BRICS chum, Russian President Vladimir Putin, was presiding over a government just as reactionary and right-wing as those the ANC documents lamented as rising in the West.

Does the ANC’s foreign policy document’s apparent distance from contemporary reality really matter?

Several participants at the seminar implied not, because they contended that South Africa’s day-to-day foreign policy was mainly crafted by the national president – sometimes in his own interests – or the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, rather than the ruling party.

The ANC representatives insisted otherwise, not surprisingly. And indeed, the seminar ended with participants not much wiser about the perennial question of who really makes South African foreign policy.

In any case, the position is unsatisfactory. The ANC’s foreign policy document at least sets the tone and the guidelines for national policy and so ought to prevent the sort of off-the-cuff decision making that has been prevalent during the Zuma era.

Will things change under his successor? Jakkie Cilliers, head of African Futures and Innovation at the Institute for Security Studies, thinks they might.

He writes in the recently published paper ‘Life beyond BRICS? South Africa’s future foreign policy interests’ that if former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma succeeds her former husband – who has endorsed her campaign – she will largely continue his foreign policy trajectory.

But Cilliers suggests that if her chief rival, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, wins the ANC’s support in December, he could revitalise South Africa’s foreign policy and focus it where it is weakest: on pragmatically advancing the country’s economic interests.

What has not emerged so far is whether the Dlamini Zuma and Ramaphosa factions will contest foreign policy issues at this month’s conference. Will they fight over whether the supposedly hostile neo-liberal global economic environment is most to blame for South Africa’s current economic ills – as the draft policy paper insists?

Or is South Africa’s current recession mainly the fault of poor economic policies, political uncertainty, state capture cronyism and outright corruption by the Zuma administration – as most of the rest of the country believes?

If foreign policy does indeed emerge as a terrain of the ANC’s leadership struggle, the policy conference might not only resolve some basic policy issues, but also give a useful indication of who will emerge victorious in December.

Peter Fabricius, ISS Consultant

In South Africa, Daily Maverick has exclusive rights to re-publish ISS Today articles. For media based outside South Africa and queries about our re-publishing policy, email us.

South Africa – Ramaphosa tells Zuma critics not to be holier than thou


2017-06-14 19:11

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)


Cape Town – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has told Democratic Alliance MPs that are critical of President Jacob Zuma that they shouldn’t be so quick to cast the first stone on “ethical mishaps”.

DA MP Charles Motau asked Ramaphosa during a question and answer session if he believed South Africa could “break from the moral decay” under the leadership of Zuma and his government.

“We should never try to be holier than thou, or holier than other people,” Ramaphosa answered Motau in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“Things like mishaps in ethical behaviour can happen to anyone, to any organisation.

“When they do happen, clearly they need to be properly processed and addressed. That is the important thing that we should focus on.”

DA caucus members could be heard shouting back, “A mishap?”, “Are the Guptas mishaps?” and, “Your answer is a mishap”.

“In the end, our commitment to our values, which are enshrined in our Constitution, should be our lodestar,” he continued.

“Can we live up to that? I would say yes.”

He again told DA members to use the Constitution as “bedtime reading”.

“Don’t forget the president,” members of the DA caucus shouted again.

State capture revelations ‘undermining confidence’

Ramaphosa was originally answering a question from African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe.

Meshoe had asked what contribution Ramaphosa was making to restoring ethics and morals in politics during the country’s “time of crisis”.

“The … revelations about the ongoing corporate capture have undoubtedly and understandably undermined public confidence in the country’s leaders.

“That we have to admit,” Ramaphosa had answered earlier.

“It is therefore essential that these allegations are thoroughly investigated as a matter of urgency through a credible process.”

He repeated government’s call to establish a judicial commission of inquiry.

“The law should also take its course without fear or favour.”

He also said the restoration of moral and ethical leadership was the responsibility of all leaders in society, including elected officials, public servants, community leaders and civil society activists.

“Now is the time for these people to come to the fore and get engaged in active citizenry.

“This is not a responsibility that can fall on one person. It falls on all our shoulders. It falls on all of us here.”

Ramaphosa ‘flogging a dead horse’

Agang SA MP Andries Plouamma followed up, and said Ramaphosa seemed to be flogging a dead horse, and losing his integrity.

He asked him to “break from the yoke the president has bound him with”.

“Why do you continue to legitimise the president’s behaviour? Why are you giving the country a death sentence?

“Why are you allowing the president to turn you into ‘n arme skepsel [a poor wretch]?”

Ramaphosa skillfully beat the question down.

“Madam speaker, I don’t know what the actual question is. I don’t have my Afrikaans dictionary today to remember what an arme skepsel is.

“All I can say is, I am not a skepsel,” he told Plouamma with a smile.


South Africa – Ramaphosa favourite to lead ANC


2017-06-11 06:25

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa


What To Read Next
A mock ballot conducted by the Durban-based Xubera Institute for Research and Development concluded that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the favourite to replace President Jacob Zuma as the president of the ANC, however participants raised the most number of concerns around his trustworthiness.

Former African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma came in second – but also not without baggage – and was closely followed by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.

Radebe was the most trusted among the three, although the roundtable discussion included in the report, titled In Search of a Leader Befitting the Aspirations of South Africans, took place early in February – before it came to light that he had exchanged sexually suggestive SMSes with a female presidency staff member in 2014.

The participants were “mainly academics, professionals, people in business and civil society”.

Ramaphosa was hailed as “a person wealthy enough not to be tempted to dip his hand in the cookie jar; understands business and will thus boost investor confidence; has an understanding of labour issues; and his involvement in the Convention for a Democratic SA negotiations put him in high standing”.

However, the participants also cautioned that he could “promote the capitalist agenda and would not pay much attention to the plight of the poor, and [would concentrate] on high-level strategic matters, thus neglecting local economic focus”, and that the “Marikana massacre is still his albatross”.

Feedback from participants also showed that Ramaphosa was seen to have an “interest in government business” and that he was not actively championing the interests of young people.

The report said South Africa was ready for a female president, which would work in Dlamini-Zuma’s favour as she was also the first female chairperson of the AU Commission.

The report stated that some of the participants felt that “she cannot be judged for her alliance to her former husband”.

“Her sterling performance at the department of home affairs and at foreign affairs is seen as a feather in her cap,” it said.

But she was also “the first minister in democratic South Africa to [be involved in] a scandal”, said the document in reference to the Sarafina 2 saga.

There were also questions about her “performance at the AU, [and] what type of a leader she would be”.

“The feeling is that the presidency is not a dynasty to be passed from one family member to the next.

“The main concern is that she would be Mr Zuma’s proxy [and] the ‘Guptarisation’ of South Africa will continue unabated,” the report said, alluding to ongoing allegations that the politically connected Gupta family had used its proximity to Zuma to unfairly and irregularly gain government business.

Radebe was touted as a possibility for the ANC presidency as he is the longest-serving minister and has a legal background, as well as an understanding of basic human rights.

He has been at the forefront of government interventions and negotiations, and is regarded as “the voice of reason in government matters and he has no known corruption scandals”.

Ramaphosa scored 44% of the support, Dlamini-Zuma came in with 28.5% and Radebe got 24.5%.

ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, his predecessor Mathews Phosa, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu shared 2% of the votes, while 1% of the participants abstained.

South Africa – Zuma allies say plans to remove him at NEC a fallacy


2017-05-25 16:55

President Jacob Zuma. (Khothatso Mokone, AP)

President Jacob Zuma. (Khothatso Mokone, AP)

Johannesburg- Supporters of President Jacob Zuma in the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) are planning to oppose any move for him to be recalled when they meet this weekend.

They have labelled renewed calls for the NEC to oust him a “fallacy”.

ANC Youth League secretary general Njabulo Nzuza, who is also a supporting NEC member, told News24 an NEC recall of Zuma would be unconstitutional.

“Those people really can’t raise a motion of no confidence in an NEC. Only congress, which elected him [Zuma], can deal with such a thing. Even our constitution makes no provision for such.”

“People are being sold a fallacy of something here,” Nzuza said.

He was supported by another senior member who said that, during an NEC meeting in November 2016, former tourism minister Derek Hanekom’s motion for Zuma to be recalled was defeated, and had “ended the debate”.

“There was an agreement at that meeting that it will never be discussed again, because the branches said we don’t have the powers. We will call to order anyone that calls for him to go,” the NEC member said.

He argued that the ANC’s constitution stated that only the party’s president could be the president of the country.

“Zuma’s recall is different from Mbeki, as he was no longer ANC president when he was recalled,” the member explained.

NEC divided

Mbeki was recalled in 2008 after losing the party’s presidency to Zuma. The party’s NEC is holding a scheduled meeting, starting on Friday.

“Organisational weaknesses can’t be solved by removing a president.  If there are issues, we must resolve them structurally.

“We also can’t play to the gallery. The NEC cannot change congress resolutions, let alone the office of the president,” Nzuza said.

Zuma is already facing a motion of no confidence in Parliament, with claims that some ANC members want to vote in support of the motion tabled by opposition parties.

The national executive is divided over Zuma’s hold on the presidency.

Among them is one member who said it would be “irresponsible” for the party’s top structure not to discuss it.

“If we don’t, we would be writing the ANC off, as we are losing credibility in the eyes of the public,” he said.

He questioned Zuma’s support base, following calls the ANC’s tripartite alliance partners – SACP, Cosatu and Sanco – for him to step down. These calls have been repeated in countrywide protests, demanding Zuma’s removal.

Damning report

“And now there is that report of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), which stopped short of saying this government has lost moral authority to govern.

“That is [a] very serious charge and you can’t turn a blind eye to it, and that is another reason why the NEC should be sitting up and put on the agenda the demand for this person to quit,” he said.

The SACC released a damning report on state capture and said the country risks collapsing if the ANC does not act on the “systematic siphoning on state assets pivoted around the president”.

Both sides are expecting this weekend’s meeting to be “difficult and tense”, following numerous controversial moves linked to Zuma.

It is the first NEC meeting since the controversial reshuffle which replaced Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. The country was downgraded to junk status and the unfolding Brian Molefe saga was labelled as “embarrassing”.

Another NEC member said the party must deal with the Public Protector’s recommendation that a judicial commission of inquiry be established into the alleged undue influence of the Gupta family on the executive and state-owned enterprises.

Zuma has approached the courts for the decision to be reviewed, while Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa wants an inquiry to go ahead.

Succession debate

At least three members of the NEC said they would call for the succession debate to be opened, as leaders had already launched their campaigns to replace Zuma at the December elective conference.

They said opening it up would limit “leaders publicly attacking each other”.

“What we must do now is talk the rules of the game,” said of the NEC members.

The ANC has canned the debate until after the June policy conference and said members must instead discuss the qualities of the future leader.

“I really think we are going to push for it to be opened up now, instead of waiting for [the] policy conference,” an NEC member said.

While Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are seen as front runners for the ANC’s top post, there are presidential campaigns for other senior party members, including Lindiwe Sisulu, Jeff Radebe, Mathews Phosa and Baleka Mbete.

South Africa – Mantashe says ANC MPs voting for Zuma to go would be betrayal


2017-05-18 08:30

Gwede Mantashe (Netwerk24)
Gwede Mantashe

IFP chief whip Narend Singh addressed the media on Monday evening after judgement was reserved in the Constitutional Court to hold a secret ballot in a proposed vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma. Watch. WATCH


Johannesburg – The ANC has sent its strongest warning yet that it will not tolerate dissent in the motion of no confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said if ANC MPs supported the motion brought forward by the Democratic Alliance and supported by other opposition parties, “it would be the highest betrayal”.

“It would be highest level of ill discipline, the highest level of betrayal, the worst,” Mantashe told News24.

He said ANC members that are unhappy with Zuma should rather continue to fight from within the party.

Mantashe was responding to claims that there are a growing number of ANC MPs that will vote for Zuma to go, especially if the Constitutional Court rules that the motion can be carried through a secret ballot.

Conscience vote

Some ANC MPs have also begun speaking out, signalling that they would follow their conscience rather than the party line.

ANC MP Dr Makhosi Khoza said on her Facebook page that she will always vote for the ANC’s survival, but not for an “amoral leader”.

“I therefore cannot be expected to vote [for] an amoral leader whose behavioural practices liquidates the ANC at a speed faster than the spacecraft,” Khoza’s post read.

Opposition parties that are a minority in Parliament have also claimed that they have spoken to enough ANC MPs to ensure the success of the motion.

“That will be the worst day of my life when ANC members follow the command of the opposition,” Mantashe said.

Organisational discipline

He said ANC members that defy the party line lack “organisational discipline”.

“The most important characteristic of organisational discipline, is the ability to suppress your emotional feeling, if you can’t suppress your emotional feeling, we can’t talk organisational discipline of any sorts,” Mantashe said.

He added that there is always space to fight for Zuma to go within the ANC. The party is due to hold its National Executive Committee meeting next week, at which the motion is expected to be debated.

It will be the first NEC since Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle that saw five ministers lose their positions, including former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was replaced by Malusi Gigaba.

Mantashe and his deputy Jessie Duarte have already descended on the ANC caucus to warn MPs to follow the party line and vote against the motion.


“We have a duty to sort ourselves out, the horizon might be longer or shorter but it is us who have the obligation to sort ourselves out,” Mantashe said.

“But what you don’t do, because your father is a drunkard, is throw him to the thugs,” he said.

Mantashe however also warned party members to accept defeat if they lose the debate within the party.

“When they fight in the ANC there is always a chance of losing a debate, and that is what you must build into the system. That you put [forward] issues, you lose a debate, and when you lose that debate, they shout you have ‘Mantashed’,” he said.

“Mantashed” is a word coined on social media after Mantashe, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize had criticised Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle, but following an extended National Working Committee, Mantashe said the public criticism was a “mistake”.