SOME senior ANC leaders have accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of working with external parties to collapse the governing party and replace it with a centre-right coalition led by him after the 2024 general elections.
They claim the president and his business allies are going out of their way to privatise state-owned enterprises (SOES) and destroy black-owned companies funded by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), as part of a bigger plot to turn voters against the ANC in favour of a coalition of almost all opposition parties except for Julius Malema’s EFF.
This comes as the government this week placed cash-strapped national carrier SAA under business rescue, a move widely seen as the first step towards the privatisation of the embattled airline.
Four ANC national executive committee (NEC) members told Independent Media that the party’s top six officials confronted Ramaphosa at a meeting two weeks ago about his alleged negative attitude towards black-owned companies and the use of the PIC to destroy them.
Two of the sources supported Ramaphosa at the Nasrec conference but have since fallen out with his inner circle over the country’s economic policy and trajectory.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe, treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, did not respond to questions sent two weeks ago, this week and yesterday.
Xolani Dube, a political analyst at the Xubera Institute, said he was aware of murmurings within the ANC about Ramaphosa allegedly working with outsiders to collapse the ANC.
He said the root cause of unhappiness with Ramaphosa’s presidency was a perception that he ruled “at the behest of the mining energy complex”, a clique of powerful and wealthy families in the country that includes the Oppenheimers and the Ruperts.
“It’s not even a centre-right but a right-wing coalition. Remember, there was that plan of 2017, where the ruling elites wanted the EFF and all the opposition parties to form a coalition government. They tested that model in Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg, and they noticed that this coalition is not working for them because the decisions are not made quicker and there is so much confusion,” Dube said.
The sources claimed that the plan to destroy the ANC entailed the following:
Sign all long-term Eskom, SAA and Transnet contracts this year or by early next year;
Sell off state assets to pre-selected private partners;
Put SAA into business rescue and eventually terminate all its contracts;
Sell SAA to either Etihad Airways or a European airline;
Take control of key development financial institutions such as the National Empowerment Fund, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation through allies to redirect funds;
Starve the ANC of resources by not awarding state contracts to black businessmen who are its main funders;
Charge or use state institutions to investigate political opponents to keep them busy with criminal cases and to financially harm them;
Elevate Ramaphosa above the ANC, so that if the ANC loses support, he could emerge as the undisputed leader of a centre-right coalition of opposition parties excluding EFF after the 2024 general elections;
Destroy Independent Media and the public protector’s office, take full control of the media and drive a single and positive narrative about the country and its leaders; and
Make sure there is no mass-based movement that can challenge the new hegemony.
A senior ANC leader, who supported Ramaphosa at Nasrec, accused the president’s business allies of pushing him to adopt economic policies diametrically opposed to the ANC’S. “We are selling everything now. By the time we wake up, we would have nothing to show as a country. We will have only Luthuli House,” said the NEC member.
Another NEC member claimed he was lied to about the economic trajectory. “They denied that they planned to sell any SOE. Now they want to destroy Independent and the public protector because they have shattered the myth of CR as a corruption-buster, and his new dawn administration as the fighters of state capture.”