Worst mistake ever: President Ramaphosa to fire Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu


With all the current tensions among ANC senior leaders, the worst mistake that President Cyril Ramaphosa can make, if he wins the elective conference, is to divide the party by isolating his rivals, said political analyst Bheki Mngomezulu.

The University of Western Cape political science professor was reacting to his counterpart Thabani Khumalo who said for the president to have his second tenure running smoothly, he should fire all his adversaries from his administration.

Khumalo believes that divisions within the ANC are now worse than ever and are “irreversible”.

Already, MPs who are in the cabinet, such as Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu, are living in fear of losing their ministerial positions. Sisulu revealed in a recent interview with Professor Sipho Seepe that during the national executive committee meeting to discuss the Phala Phala saga they were warned that there would be consequences for those who would vote in favour of the Section 89 panel report in Parliament or who would not vote at all.

“They informed us that anybody who does not toe the party line will be thrown out of the job.

“There was a threat that 'you are going to lose your job' over something that has nothing to do with integrity, but you saying to people who have been serving the ANC honestly for a very long time ‘if you don’t vote in this particular way we are going to kick you out of your job’,” she said.

Mngomezulu, who is also convinced that Ramaphosa would emerge victorious from the conference believed that he is angry and frustrated by his rivals such as Dlamini Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu who are members of the cabinet. He believed that a decision to isolate his rivals would be the worst mistake that would cost the party dearly come the 2024 general elections.

“The mistake that he would make is to take a decision out of frustration.

“I normally say anger and excitement have a short lifespan, you cannot take a decision just because you are angry nor can you take a decision just because you are over-excited because once that anger or excitement subsides, you will then regret,” said Mngomezulu.

Mngomezulu said Ramaphosa surrounds himself with people who are ill-advising him.

“You remember that on November 21 the president had taken a decision to resign after the report of the section 89 panel but his cheerleaders decided that they were going to fight it out and they convinced him not to resign.

“Which means that even if the president can see the bigger picture those who are surrounding him are the ones who are misleading him thinking they are helping him but in fact, they are sending him to the wolves as it were,” said Mngomezulu.

Sisulu concurred with Mngomezulu saying that Ramaphosa had decided to resign but “it is the people around him who are dependent on him and his patronage that said ‘Mr President, what about us’ and we are sitting with the situation where a group of people is holding the whole country and its integrity at ransom.”

In terms of Section 84 of the Constitution, the president has the prerogative to choose cabinet ministers and deputy ministers and dismiss them.

“But then the problem is that our court is playing a part in this chaos. You will recall that when former president Zuma did cabinet reshuffling, people decided to go to court on a very political matter and the court unfortunately listened to them and made a ruling that he must explain himself why he has changed certain people.

“This was basically interfering, one sphere of government interfering in another sphere,” said Mngomezulu.

The tensions worsened in the ANC a few days before the conference when senior members who were eyeing to replace Ramaphosa openly attacked him about his Farmgate scandal.

One of them, Dlamini Zuma went against the party line by voting that Parliament should adopt the section 89 panel report in order to haul Ramaphosa before the impeachment committee.

In reaction, the leadership announced that Dlamini Zuma would be charged for disrespecting the party’s instruction. Then former president Jacob Zuma laid criminal charges against Ramaphosa.

During an interview with SABC News foreign editor Sophie Mokoena this week, Dlamini Zuma refused to say whether or not she was concerned about the possibility of being kicked out of the cabinet.

Khumalo described the situation as worse than ever happened in the former liberation movement. He foresees Ramaphosa choosing to work with only those within his slate.

Khumalo said the possibility of Ramaphosa reshuffling his cabinet by replacing Dlamini Zuma and Sisulu was “definitely”.

“If I was his advisor, it is something I would advise him on, saying ‘some of your comrades are your biggest enemies, and as long as they are still next to you, you will never succeed’.

“I think he has realised that the comrades he is trying to embrace in the name of unity and peace are the very same comrades that are destroying him, that are destroying the ANC and the country,” said Khumalo.

– Sunday Independent

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