'Evil' Ramaphosa also broke his oath of office - Cope

2018-02-15 14:30
Cyril Ramaphosa. (Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

Cyril Ramaphosa. (Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)

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Cape Town – Cope says that former president Jacob Zuma should have been impeached, rather than being allowed to resign.

And they have no time for incoming president Cyril Ramaphosa, viewing him as someone who, like Zuma, broke his oath of office.

Cope addressed the media on Thursday morning, after Zuma's resignation the night before, and expressed mixed emotions about this event.

"On the one hand, it brings to an end an unnecessary 'decennium atrocius' – a sad and ruinous decade in the history of post-apartheid South Africa in the struggle to create a just, equitable and prosperous country for all," said Cope deputy general secretary Deidre Carter.

"But on the other hand a resignation means the Mr Zuma walks away with benefits – the bill footed by ordinary South Africans through the fiscus."

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She said given that Zuma had broken his oath of office and defied the Constitution, he should not have been allowed to resign - and even a vote of no confidence would have been a "slap on the wrist".

Carter said the correct process would have been impeachment proceedings, on the grounds of serious violations of the Constitution, which would have meant that Zuma may not receive any benefits of office and may not service in public office again.

"The ANC's new top six, including its new president, are complicit directly or indirectly in the corruption and capture of the state through their own actions or lack of action," Carter said.

"Cyril Ramaphosa violated his oath of office when he did not act according to his constitutional obligations and triumphantly announced land expropriation without compensation, which is in direct violation of the letter and spirit of the Constitution."

'He never rose up'

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota referred to the Constitutional Court's Nkandla judgment and said it had found that the whole National Assembly had broken their oath of office.

"When Zuma undermined the Public Protector, he [Ramaphosa] never rose up," said Lekota, adding that when the matter came before Parliament, Ramaphosa was one of those who challenged the Public Protector.

He also said that, when there was a motion of no confidence in Zuma after the Constitutional Court's ruling, Ramaphosa had led the ANC caucus in saying that Zuma had done nothing wrong.

Lekota said before the ANC's conference in December, Ramaphosa had made speeches calling for the expropriation of land without compensation, while Section 25 of the Constitution in its current form guarantees compensation when property is expropriated.

Referring to Ramaphosa's role in the Marikana killings, Cope deputy president Willie Madisha said: "He remains an evil person."

While it is clear that Cope won't vote for Ramaphosa on Thursday afternoon, they couldn't say if they would support another candidate.

Lekota said they would first consult with their colleagues in the other opposition parties before coming to a decision.

Read more on:    cope  |  anc  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  mosiuoa lekota

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