A high-level campaign is underway within the ANC to discredit President Cyril Ramaphosa and oust him from power by using his so-called neoliberal policy as an excuse.
A source with intimate knowledge of the situation claimed even some of Ramaphosa’s Nasrec allies – David Mabuza and Lindiwe Sisulu – are part of the plot.
The Premier League, a loose alliance of former premiers from Free State, Mpumalanga and North West and a small group from Gauteng, was being revived to spread an anti-Ramaphosa narrative ahead of next year’s national policy conference.
The campaign would portray Ramaphosa as someone pushing policies that favoured “white monopoly capital” at the expense of the poor.
They cite Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s recent economic blueprint as a move away from the ANC’s pro-poor stance, and the recent appointment of presidential advisory committees that comprised mainly white business and foreign representatives.
The appointment of a white man, Andre de Ruyter, as Eskom CEO, was lambasted by Ramaphosa’s opponents – including a Jacob Zuma-supporting component of the ANC national youth task team, that described the appointment as “against transformation”.
The source said the anti-Ramaphosa campaigners planned to propose Mabuza as president, with either Ace Magashule or Sisulu as deputy. It said with Magashule, a former leading member of the Premier League, as ANC secretary-general, the work has been made easy for the Zuma camp. He has begun to lead the campaign from inside the party’s headquarters.
Last week, Magashule wrote an article in which he criticised the Public Investment Corporation for applying to liquidate Iqbal Surve’s Sekunjalo Independent Media for monies it owed the corporation. Magashule said Sekunjalo was being targeted because of critical reporting by the group’s publications.
He said this move was contrary to the ANC commitment to media diversity and freedom of speech and media, and must be stopped.
He echoed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who earlier described the PIC move as “racially motivated”. She said it would be suicidal for SA’s news media to have a select few media houses controlling the narrative.
Political analyst Zamikhaya Maseti said he was not surprised about Ramaphosa being criticised because the president’s economic policy direction was going the wrong way.
“It’s more about the ideological direction that the state is taking under Ramaphosa. Some see that he had no working-class bias. His investment pledges are not benefitting the poor and the unemployment is rocketing.
“What are these investments all about if they can’t address unemployment and the growth of the economy? They are not trickling down to the base level – the people,” Maseti said.
Ramaphosa’s policy orientation is not working class-biased but favours big business.
The analyst said the president surrounded himself with white CEOs who would never have an interest in improving the lives of the poor. “The economic envoys he appointed are moving around the world but it is not clear whether they are bringing in money, because we don’t see the impact of their journeys,” Maseti said.
The ANC source said there was a group consolidating the realignment of Ramaphosa opponents.
“Mabuza knows about it and Sisulu is part of the group that will visit Zuma to talk to him about this. They are targeting the June/ July national policy conference, where they will challenge Ramaphosa around land expropriation without compensation, the Reserve Bank issue and the direction of the country’s economy,” the source said.
Carl Niehaus, an outspoken Ramaphosa opponent and righthand man of Magashule, last week criticised the Ramaphosa government’s alleged deviation from the ANC resolutions on land expropriation and the Reserve Bank mandate. He told a debate dubbed “RamaTitonomics” they will never compromise on the ANC’s Nasrec resolutions.
A senior member of the Ramaphosa camp said they viewed the appointment of people with questionable credentials into senior positions in state organs as an attempt to undermine Ramaphosa’s anticorruption crusade.
They cited former Msunduzi mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo as public service commissioner after she allegedly collapsed the municipality during her tenure, and Geoff Makhubo as mayor of Joburg despite corruption allegations.
– Credit: Citizen