Ramaphosa’s credibility is compromised

Cyril Ramaphosa

The “Ramaphoria” (euphoria), a honeymoon phase for Cyril Ramaphosa’s ascendency to power is fading away. The gentleman have been spending more time fighting his battle in courts while the young unemployed graduates are without jobs and others continuing to lose their current jobs as a result of declining economy. South Africa has far more predicaments which need a visionary leader, we thought Ramaphosa was that man but he is proving us otherwise.

We applauded Daily Maverick and Amabungane for their fearless reporting on the VBS story when they unpacked how the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) benefited from the now defunct bank which left many people heartbroken. We assumed that that was what the young democracy needed, a kind of media which will uphold the principle of checks and balance. No one ever questioned the legality of accessing EFF bank details, we were all furious for how politicians stole money from the poor.

Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers failed to prohibit the public from knowing the funders of the CR17, Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign inside the ANC which he emerged victorious in the end of 2017 held at Nasrec, Johannesburg.

News24/City Press has run the story on the leaked emails which are said to have been used by the office of the Public Protector (PP). The emails shows that Pravin Gordhan, besieged Minister of Public Enterprises, was very instrumental in Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign. This is the man who was “loved” by the market during the Zuma administration, the man whom the rating agencies would not sleep if he was to be removed from his the position of Treasury Minister.

Sunday Independent published a story which entails the information regarding the fundraising of the CR17 campaign, we now know the names of “good Samaritans” who ensured that Ramaphosa became the president of the ANC and eventually assumes the office at the Union Building.

We should not be worried at all by the questions of legality of accessing banking details of the CR17 campaign; we should rather use logic and establish the authenticity of the information used by the Sunday Independent. I have not heard anything from the office of presidency about taking legal action against the newspaper, I have not heard them saying that they will be approaching the Press Ombudsman.

It would be absurd and psychosis to expect the whole Office of Presidency to admit what is being reported, the spokesperson is paid to clean the image of the president and make him look like saint. These are political conundrums which does not really need public relations commitment, Ramaphosa need to stand firm and start taking some responsibility unlike his predecessors.

Ramaphosa did not win with outright majority in his presidential campaign in 2017 and that makes him very vulnerable. People who have invested capital into his campaign to become the ANC president are already making demands. Ramaphosa went onto appointing Maria Ramos as a board member of the PIC, this is the woman who was with ABSA and he confessed to have manipulated and fixed the currency during Zuma administration for their own political ends. The same Ramos donated money into Ramaphosa’s campaign on the last day of the conference.

Ramaphosa should not be singled out from his organisation, we should start asking difficult questions especially about the corporate capture of the state and perhaps widening the timeframe and reference of Raymond Zondo Commission.

The country should be taken into confidence on what really happened at CODESA until we reached the negotiated settlement which ensured that our people remain outside the periphery of the economy. How is it possible that only those who were present in the negotiations are the only ones who materially benefitted while majority of the citizens continue to live in bondage?

Ramaphosa’s supporters are raising quite valid point when they ask that other people who contested for the same position as Ramaphosa be investigated too, that is fair. I agree and believe that we can go back to as far as 2007 Polokwane Conference and probe if that is the new practice within the ANC and how does it affect government because South Africa have enjoyed a system of dominant party-state from 1994 until to date.

The companies or people who want to do business with government fund individuals who are influential within the ANC. Sometimes the ANC approaches these “captain of industries” as we heard Dr Dan Matjila who was giving testimony before PIC Commission and he confessed that senior ANC politicians were putting more pressure as they needed money; the ANC obviously dismisses the claim as would be expected.

Cyril Ramaphosa was hoped to be the man who would recue not only his organisation, ANC, but the entire country. He came with attractive slogans such as Siyavuma, New Dawn, Thuma Mina. People’s livelihoods seem to be getting difficult everyday despite his reign to power. He has not really shown us his uniqueness from his predecessors; in fact he seems to be lacking an economic plan to take out our people from bondage.

Like Zuma and Mbeki, it will never be easy to remove Ramaphosa; that is so because he is from a business community himself and capitalists are able to better relate with him and above all to trust him with thir money. Capital and capitalists will make sure that Ramaphosa is not removed during the National General Council (NGC) which is a mid-term conference of the party and have got powers to replace anyone in the national leadership of the ANC.

Ramaphosa should try to re-establish and restore confidence to South Africans by promoting transparency, he should make information of his campaign available to the public and answer questions so that we are able to move ahead as the country. Ramaphosa should not play hide-and-seek because he is even compromising our judiciary as we have heard the EFF leader Julius Malema raising discontent with the conduct of the judiciary recently.

Judiciary should not be used as a political football, we heard how the ANC attacked judiciary when it ruled against them and claimed that there was a “judiciary overreach”, and judiciary will have to refer certain cases to parliament so as to protect its image.

The South African media’s credibility has been questioned in recent months, there are certain media houses and journalists who have made it their duty to defend their favourites while attacking their foes. We cannot put judiciary’s reputation to what our media have been subjected to.

Ramaphosa is the leader of this country, he should be seen trying to unite our country. The gentleman has been divisive without really addressing his issues with the PP in a more matured manner; he was supposed to have fixed the relationship between his office and that of the office of the PP. We cannot have two individuals who use their power to hold the country into ransom, egos should be put aside for the sake of our country and its beautiful people.

Kenneth Mokgatlhe is a Political commentator.