With the result of the powerful 80 member ANC Executive committee to be announced tomorrow, (Wednesday) the power of the newly appointed head of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa hangs in the balance.
Ramaphosa has made much of the corrupt relationship between Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family and this has been reported extensively in the British media.
What has not been touched on is Ramaphosa own dirty dealing. He left the SA trade union movement to 'pursue a business career,' and within a short space of time became a multimillionaire as international and home ground corporations filled his boots with geld.
Is it any wonder the same business interests whether in SA or beyond, have been the cheerleaders in his rise to head the ANC. He is a man who claims to believe neo liberal economics will reduce the gross inequalities which inflict the overwhelming majority of the South African population. One only has to glance at the USA and UK to understand this is complete drivel, and he knows it as he is one of the world's ruling elites who have become enriched by neo liberal economics and have left poverty, low wages, and unemployment in their wake.
He first came to prominence in the ANC when he helped build the biggest and most powerful trade union in South Africa, the National Union of Mineworkers. (NUM) He later shit all over its membership when as a member of the board of directors of the British multinational Lonmi he sided with his corporate masters when the Marikana Massacre took place at Lonmin's Marikana mine.
Cyril Ramaphosa, from his position on the board of Lonmin, could have argued for negotiation, a better deal for the workers. Instead, as a chain of emails released to the Farlam inquiry prove, some of which he sent 24 hours before the massacre took place, disclosed he bad mouthed the striking miners and argued for the police to move in.
In one message to his corporate masters in the city of London, he wrote:
“The terrible events that have unfolded cannot be described as a labour dispute. They are plainly dastardly criminal and must be characterised as such... There needs to be concomitant action to address this situation. Claiming the Marikana striking miners were acting like "dastardly criminals."A scab and a strike breaker with corporate blood on his hands is how one former member of uMkhonto we Sizwe described Ramaphosa to me.
When Zuma retires, or is winkled out of office by Ramaphosa before his period as president is over, he will be the last of the ANC exiles to hold the highest SA post. He has undoubtedly been a poor president and was blinded by his ambitions, a man who lost site of what he once fought for, but to claim he is totally corrupt and Ramaphosa is whiter than white is a negation of the truth.
Whether it be Zimbabwe or South Africa, the people of both nations paid a high price for their new democracy when General Josiah Tongogara and Chris Hani died prematurely.
Below Terry Bell looks at this weeks ANC national conference.
|Cyril Ramaphosa, a scab and a strike breaker with corporate blood on his hands.|
Looked at in isolation, the election of the ANC’s “top six” at the governing party’s Nasrec conference, provides a classic example of the more things change, the more they stay the same. If anything, the divide between the two broad factions has been highlighted, with three known supporters on either side, a possible recipe for political stagnation.
However, the real engine of power within the ANC rests with the national executive committee. The composition of this 80-member NEC will be the final determinant of whether Cyril Ramaphosa has the power and authority to take the actions his supporters want and demand.
Heading these demands is that — without fear or favour — action be taken against those individuals implicated in corruption and exposed largely through the leaked “Gupta emails”. This much was spelled out this morning by SA Communist Party second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila.
But implicated in allegations of wrongdoing as well as links to the Gupta family is Ace Magashule, who now holds the powerful post of ANC secretary general. And an individual around whom perhaps even more allegations swirl, is the new deputy president of the party, David Mabuza. The two men are key figures in what was known as the “Premier league” that supported President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma himself, through all his travails, was able to maintain his position and to avoid pubic censure from the ANC or even removal from office, by relying on a majority within the NEC. Today, the more than 4 000 delegates will vote for the incoming committee and, as a result, there has been fierce lobbying going on, especially since most delegates are unaware of who the various candidates are.
All that seems certain is that the existing broad divisions within the party will remain. But, should the “Ramaphosa faction” emerge as the NEC majority, the newly elected president’s hand will be strengthened. This could justify the generally cautious welcome given to his election by the likes of the Chamber of Mines and the general secretary of the Federation of Unions of SA, Dennis George.
Alternatively, whatever happens, it could be a case of Ramaphosa having been handed a poisoned chalice. Or, as the general secretary of the SA Federation of Labour, Zwelinzima Vavi remarked following the election of Mabuza and Magashule: “All this will do is entrench the Guptarisation of the country.”
The results of the ANC NEC election will hopefully be announced tomorrow.