President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken a swipe at ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule over rumours of his involvement in meetings to plot the president’s removal.
Without mentioning him by name‚ Ramaphosa took aim at Magashule during his address at the Cosatu national conference in Johannesburg on Monday‚ saying such actions were counter-revolutionary. He made the remarks while Magashule was sitting in the front row together with other ANC leaders.
This comes after a Sunday Times report that Magashule was part of meetings with former president Jacob Zuma‚ former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo and ANCWL secretary Matuba Meokgo‚ among others.
“We should not spend time on counter-revolutionary machinations of weakening this African National Congress where either in dark corners or whoever‚ we come up with machinations of weakening the African National Congress‚” said Ramaphosa.
“Let me say this now‚ if there is going to be a plot‚ it must be a plot to defeat poverty. That must be the type of plot we want‚ it must be a plot to end poverty in our country. If we are going to plan‚ let us plan the growth of our economy‚” said Ramaphosa.
He said the ANC should be investing time in transforming the economy instead of wasting time playing with the hopes of South Africans.
Ramaphosa said the ANC could not afford to go to next year’s elections divided.
“If there are any moves to divide the membership of the ANC‚ that is counter-revolutionary … because our people are on a march‚ they are on a revolutionary march to go and win those elections‚” said Ramaposa.
“Just imagine we are going to war‚ we are going to a war of all wars and then we start fighting among ourselves and we take guns and start shooting each other. What kind of army are we?” asked Ramaphosa.
He said those who were engaged in acts to divide the ANC should be exposed. “Those who want to divide the ANC‚ what agenda are they serving? … Because coming out of Nasrec‚ we only know one agenda and that is the agenda of unity and renewal and jobs and transforming the economy‚” said Ramaphosa.
“If you are working to divide the ANC‚ tell us what your agenda is?” said Ramaphosa.
This was the first time Ramaphosa had publicly broached the issue of a plot since it was first exposed by the Sunday Times two weeks ago.
Cosatu delegates kept shouting “Aceee” as Ramaphosa was making his remarks.
Magashule was due to face a grilling on the same day from the ANC national working committee after he initially gave an explanation to the party's top six leaders last week.