That Ramaphosa won the elections for the ANC is an indisputable fact; a fact that is grudgingly rejected by people like Magashule and the Zuma faction. What makes this victory for Ramaphosa so remarkable was that, unlike his predecessor, Ramaphosa fought a very lonely battle, without the full backing of the NEC. In this election, Ramaphosa had to contend with a faction in his own party that was determined to destroy him.
Magashule’s private meeting with Zuma at the Maharani hotel in Durban, shortly after Ramaphosa became president of the ANC, was a clear message that Magashule’s was still aligned to Zuma. It is no secret that the three splinter groups, ATM, ACM and BLF were all aligned to Zuma and beneficiaries of the Guptas. Their gamble to weaken Ramaphosa in the elections failed dismally, because the electorate, who are not members of the ANC, had had enough of anything remotely linked to Zuma’s corrupt administration.
Ramaphosa also did not have the support of the once powerful COSATU, like Zuma and Mbeki did. Ramaphosa, in fact, had to contest the elections against NUMSAs African Socialist Party, which boasted a membership of three hundred thousand. Ramaphosa also did not have the support of the once powerful ANCYL, under the fiesty leadership of the rabble rouser, Malema, because Zuma destroyed the youth league into insignificance after Malema was expelled.
The once powerful ANCWL of Albertina Sisulu, was in clear opposition to Ramaphosa. So how did Ramaphosa pull it off single handedly?
He went on his “Thuma Mina” campaign and presented an image of someone that was completely different from Zuma. He convinced his audiences that he was going to tackle corruption. He never insulted Zuma at anytime but his statement with the phrase, ” nine wasted years” was a direct hit at the Zuma administration and was like music to the ears of the electorate, who were tired of Zuma’s crooning and prancing on the podium.
Mbalula, who was in charge of the election campaign, was absolutely right when he openly said that had it not been for Ramaphosa, the ANC would have not even won 40% of the votes. This statement did not go down well with the Zuma camp, especially Magashule and NDZ. Dhlamini Zuma had the temerity of accusing Mbalula of being divisive when her husband was the main driving force that divided the ANC.
Unfortunately for Ramaphosa, even though he won the elections for the ANC, it is powerful Zuma faction in the NEC that has the final say as to who gets chosen to go to Parliament. Many of the questionable ministers under the Zuma administration were reelected by the Zuma faction in the NEC, much, I am sure, to the annoyance of the president. The great irony is that these despicable former ministers would not have been reelected if Ramaphosa did not win the elections for the ANC.
Ramaphosa’s victory took all the opposition, including the racist Malema, by surprise. Even Irvin Jim was shocked to find that 80% of his members did not vote for his party and most probably voted for Ramaphosa. If the wheels of justice get into action, then all the corrupt ministers, aligned to Zuma and those mentioned in the Zondo commission, will get their just deserts that they have been cleverly avoiding under the protection of the once powerful Mhlozoi.
The ANC must banish any notion of removing Ramaphosa, because he is so popular with the electorate that if he, unlike Lakota, started his own party, could annihilate the ANC like he thrashed all the tiny upstarts into total oblivion with one party even losing its deposit. If that happens, it might be good for the country, because it is all too evident that the ANC of Madiba, seems to be totally irredeemable and beyond repair. The country deserves better and is crying out for it.
Dr Ellapen Rapiti is a family physician, specialising in child and mental health and addiction counselling.