Ramaphosa needs to lead. Now more than ever

2019-08-07 08:46
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa Foto: Jaco Marais

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa Foto: Jaco Marais (jaco marais)

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South Africa is awakening from the Jacob Zuma years.

There are mix feelings about the Zuma presidency. Some who were opposed to his leadership of the ANC and country feel these were nine wasted years. Others who were supportive of Zuma's tenure argue that 'Radical Economic Transformation' (RET) was set in motion. On both fronts, the jury is still out.

More appropriately, to better analyse the so-called wasted years, if indeed, they were wasted years, would be to see the current Cyril Ramaphosa administration addressing unemployment, poverty and inequality. Until then, it would not be proper to declare the Zuma years, the 'wasted years'.

Just when South Africa was preparing to to start a new chapter, a 'new dawn', under the leadership of Ramaphosa, the country finds itself caught up in a 'no-man's land' scenario. More so, after the weekend reports that the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has in her possession leaked emails of Ramaphosa indulging in communications with donors relating to his CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency.

Ramaphosa had previously noted that he was not aware of the happenings of the CR17 campaign as his campaign managers were in charge of managing funds. The leaks come while Ramaphosa has called for a constitutional review of the PP reports into the DA's complaint that he misled Parliament when he said he did not know who the funders of his CR17 campaign were.

The PP has also charged that Ramaphosa violated the Executive Ethics Code regarding a R500 000 donation made by Bosasa boss Gavin Watson to his campaign. Some commentary on this issue has ranged from calls for impeachment if Ramaphosa is found guilty of wrong doing; to calls that he must step down immediately; and to recent calls after the leaked reports for Ramaphosa to apologise to the nation.

It would be fair to say that South Africa with all its challenges and ills, is not sure how to proceed. How does a country move forward while its president's future hangs in the balance?

Most South Africans, even the many who are not ANC members and supporters are prepared to work with Ramaphosa to make the country a great success, as various surveys reveal. But, the uncertainty of the current dilemma facing their president, renders many people not to be sure of what to do next.

And should this process prolong for a considerable amount of time there's likely to be more disillusionment in the country.

The fires burning in the ANC could grow stronger with the anti-Ramaphosa sentiments gaining momentum at the sight of a weakened leader. The anti-Ramaphosa brigade led by Zuma and the party's SG Ace Magashule will sense their opportunity to finally topple Ramaphosa is possible and real. A further disgruntled ANC and poorly-led populace are a toxic mix for building the brightest future for South Africa and all its people.

As a way forward to save the country from confusion and inaction, Ramaphosa must address the nation on this matter and give clear direction of where and what his government is doing to grow South Africa after his 100 days of planning are over and how the rest of the country can work with his administration to grow South Africa.

Anything short of that could lead his presidency into 'shaky ground', or even worse, his downfall.

Read more on:    anc  |  cyril rama­phosa

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