Cyril Ramaphosa hits Presidential campaign trail. Too little leadership, too late?

Cyril Ramaphosa was once the great hope to succeed Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. Seen as friendly towards the capitalist interests of the business community and with an approach that embraced the diversity of the nation, he appeared to be the favourite ANC leader among many South Africans. But, it is not minority white voters who dictate who will become the next president. That decision will ultimately be left to the millions of supporters who have helped to keep people like President Jacob Zuma in power and who have been switching allegiance to the likes of the Economic Freedom Fighters’ explicitly anti-white, anti-capitalism leader, Julius Malema. Ramaphosa is now on a ‘softly, softly’ approach to win support among those with the power to change the fate of South Africa. In an interview, Ramaphosa hinted that he would like to do things differently. He acknowledged that money has come to play a very bad role in the ANC. However, when it comes to the details of what he will change, he said that he would be keeping that information out of the public domain. While hinting that corruption and patronage need to be dealt with, Ramaphosa stayed true to his approach to avoid sticking his neck out too far on the politically sensitive issues. His view is that “things that happen in the ANC must be handled in there”. For many people who once placed Ramaphosa on a pedestal, this strategy will sound too gentle for an era in which a parasitic beast in the form of Zupta has tainted every aspect of government to the huge detriment of society. Others are deeply disappointed that Ramaphosa has stood by watching as the state looting spree continues to gather momentum. Then, there are those ANC members who want to join the feeding fest at the trough of state funds and will be looking for indications they are set to get lucky – which is clearly not what Ramaphosa will be aiming to do if he gets to run the country. It’s hard to imagine Ramaphosa beating off the competition within the ANC at this stage. More than ever, South Africa needs an extraordinary leader who can work a Mandela type of magic. – Jackie Cameron

By Tshidi Madia, News24

Johannesburg – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is available to take on the position of president of the ANC in 2017 should he garner enough support to do so.

“It would be very humbling to get into a key position like that, to lead,” said Ramaphosa. “I am available to stand,” he said.

Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

He made the comments on Wednesday on radio station Power FM.

In November, Cosatu endorsed the deputy president as its preferred candidate to lead the ANC once President Jacob Zuma’s tenure ends in December 2017.

Ramaphosa said he would embark on a tour of party branches to hear views on whether members believe he is the right person to lead or not.

He said he is also aware that there would be alternative views from Cosatu.

‘Don’t count your chickens’

Former general secretary of Cosatu Zwelinzima Vavi said the federation’s endorsement of Ramaphosa was a desperate attempt to salvage some credibility and to remain relevant. He made the comments on Monday at the 10th national congress of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

But the deputy president refused to discuss what he would do differently, should branches in the party vote for him as Zuma’s successor.

“We not there yet, as the saying goes in English, do not count your chickens before they hatch,” he said while chuckling.

He also discussed a number of issues including the 20-year celebration of the signing of the Constitution into law, his role in the Marikana tragedy, the ANC troubles and the State of Capture report.

Ramaphosa, who has been criticised for failing to speak out against the president and the government over a number of issues, said he was a disciplined cadre of the ANC and believed its issues should be dealt with internally.

“I believe things that happen in the ANC family must be handled there,” Ramaphosa said.

Buying votes

The ANC must remain united as it has in the past, he added.

He credited unity for the achievements of the ANC through its history.

Ramaphosa also had firm criticism for those who manipulated processes ahead of elective conferences.

“Money has come to play a very bad role in the ANC; people’s votes are bought and patronage has become the order of the day. All those deviant tendencies need to be curbed,” he said.

He said it was time to put into practice resolutions on the issue taken at the last conference, as well as at the party’s national general council in order to curb the trend.

It is time to focus on those buying branches and votes, he continued.

The ANC’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has said six people have made themselves available to lead the ANC from 2016 going forward.

A new leadership

Responding to questions about challenges facing the ANC, Ramaphosa said movements sometimes go through difficult times and that the 104-year-old movement has had its fair share.

“Leaders are realising we have not handled matters as well as we should have,” he said.

He said the party had resolved to handle corruption, to get rid of arrogance, patronage and other deviant behaviour.

How SA's leading cartoonist  Zapiro views Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's current role. For more Zapiro magic, click here.
How SA’s leading cartoonist Zapiro views Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s current role.

The ANC needed to operate in a way that focused on meeting the needs of the people, instead of its own, said Ramaphosa.

“I am very clear on that; that is the type of leadership we need, that members yearn for, that the country is yearning for,” he said.

Source: News24

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