🔒 Ramaphosa survives ouster attempt as ANC’s dying hyenas lash out for all they’re worth

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa released a seven-page letter he wrote to ANC members, in which he said that – while the ANC is not the only organisation guilty of corruption in South Africa – it is certainly the main suspect. Feeling the pressure of a nation growing agitated with every day that passes, it seems Ramaphosa was hoping to reassure South African voters and boost investor confidence in his administration. The ANC, however, was furious. In response to Ramaphosa’s letter, Jacob Zuma penned his own letter in which he accuses the President of pointing fingers at the ANC in order to protect himself. In an apparent showdown between President Ramaphosa and his rivals, the ANC NEC met this weekend to decide what to do about members facing charges of corruption. At this three-day meeting, Ramaphosa reportedly survived a bid to force him out of office. In his Monday newsletter for BizNews Premium subscribers, BizNews founder Alec Hogg reported that, over the weekend, Chris Barron of the Sunday Times interviewed Hermione Cronje, head of the NPA’s Investigating Directorate, who promised the first “high profile individual” will be charged in September. “With the net having closing tightly around Zuma, Magashule, Zwane, Gigaba and other hyenas, we shouldn’t be surprised they’re throwing everything they have at CR and Co”, he said. – Nadya Swart

Ramaphosa strengthens hold over South Africa’s ruling party

By Paul Vecchiatto and Michael Cohen

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(Bloomberg) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gained the upper hand in a power struggle in the nation’s deeply divided ruling party after surviving a bid to force him out of office, clearing the way for him to overhaul his cabinet.

The ouster attempt was made during a three-day meeting of the African National Congress’s top leadership that ended Sunday, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ramaphosa offered to appear before the ANC’s integrity committee to address his detractors’ accusations that he paid bribes to win the party leadership, the people said. A proposal that he be forced to quit didn’t gain traction, they said.

Read also: CR may tweak cabinet to revive economy and build investor confidence

The outcome of the online meeting showed Ramaphosa’s foes weren’t as united or powerful as they may have thought and leaves him “in a stronger position as leader of the party and the country,” Joanmariae Fubbs, a veteran ANC member and former lawmaker, said by phone from Johannesburg. “This now means that Ramaphosa has the room — and must act decisively — to deal with corrupt and errant members of his cabinet.”

South Africa’s government has been slow to effect reforms needed to revive an economy that was mired in recession before the coronavirus outbreak struck and which the Treasury and central bank expect to contract more than 7% this year. Ramaphosa’s efforts to stem corruption have been undermined by an ANC faction that’s loosely coalesced around Ace Magashule, the party’s secretary-general and a close ally of former President Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa is considering making changes to his government as he looks for ways to revive South Africa’s stagnant economy and help boost investor confidence in his administration, people familiar with the deliberations said on Saturday. No decisions have been made, the people said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorised to speak to the media. The president hasn’t discussed potential changes with the ANC’s other top five officials, as is customary, one person said.

Presidency spokesman Tyrone Seale on Saturday referred a request for comment to ANC spokesman Pule Mabe, who asked that questions be sent by text messages, to which he didn’t respond.

Amid the speculation about changes to the cabinet, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Sunday denied rumors that he has resigned.

Ramaphosa is being pushed to act decisively against graft as the ANC’s reputation has taken a renewed battering from revelations that party officials and their family members benefited from dubious contracts to supply the government with equipment and services to battle the coronavirus.

Read also: Three times Tito Mboweni disagreed with the ANC