Tweet September 9, 2018 8:43 pm Leave your thoughts
JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) has described claims by the Sunday Times that some of the party’s senior members had a meeting to plot the removal of President Cyril Ramaphosa as “sensational hot air” and “senseless gossip”.
The Sunday Times is reporting that a group in the ruling party, including former President Jacob Zuma, is plotting in secret to unseat Ramaphosa by challenging the Nasrec conference on the basis of mass irregularities at branch meetings.
The paper claims that the meeting was attended by ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule and former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo and was convened in Durban on Thursday.
“The meeting is believed to have discussed a fightback strategy that involves court action to challenge the outcome of last year’s ANC national conference, which elected Ramaphosa party president,” Sunday Times said, citing witnesses and senior ANC leaders.
The paper said the first action from the group was a letter sent to Magashule on Wednesday from regional executive committees in the North West, challenging the ANC’s highest decision-making body for its decision to disband the Mahumapelo-led provincial executive committee.
It is alleged that the group has opted to challenge Ramaphosa’s election through legal means after realising that “they have been politically weakened”.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe says, “The ANC calls on its members and the public at large not to be misled by this baseless story. We’re disappointed that the Sunday Times in a very irresponsible and dangerous manner proceeded to publish this misleading story. We urge the Sunday Times to immediately retract the story, which is nothing but incoherent political gossip.”
Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Zuma’s ex-wife and preferred successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in a leadership vote at the party’s national conference in December. The ANC then ordered Zuma to step down as president in February.
Since taking office, Ramaphosa has been prioritizing rooting out corruption as he strives to put the sluggish economy back on a sustained growth trajectory. Such measures led to the forced resignation of Mahumapelo as North West leader.
As bold as some of Ramaphosa’s decisions have been, he still maintains a cautious leadership style as he and some ANC officials know the power that Zuma loyalists retain within the ANC, Africa’s oldest liberation movement.
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