Indications that Zuma backers intend to undermine Ramaphosa

2018-04-09 16:15
Jacob Zuma supporters outside the Durban high court in Durban on Friday.

Jacob Zuma supporters outside the Durban high court in Durban on Friday. (EPA)

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After months of speculation former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters have now given a strong indication that they intend to discredit his successor Cyril Ramaphosa as part of a broader strategy to regain lost ground in the ANC.

“We are definitely not happy with the new ANC leadership’s position on the Nasrec conference resolutions, particularly on the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) programme.

“We strongly feel that Ramaphosa and the current National Executive Committee (NEC) are in a crusade to appease big business at the expense of the poor who are hungry for land and other economic opportunities,” a Zuma supporter serving in the ANC KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Interim Committee (PIC) said.

Buoyed by the support Zuma received during his court appearance in Durban on Friday, the former president’s backers are planning to use upcoming political events such as the Youth Day on June 16 to demonstrate that Ramaphosa and his new leadership have failed young people and the poor.

“While we have nothing against Rama­phosa and the entire new leadership, we will be failing in our mandate if were to pretend as if there was a plan in government to attend to the plight of the poor as a matter of urgency.

“The national conference made it clear that resolutions such as land expropriation without compensation should be implemented as a matter of urgency. However, our view is that it is business as usual in government. There is nothing wrong if we were to use any platform available to us to highlight challenges faced by the poor,” an ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader in the province said.

Alongside the Mkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association and the ANC Women’s League, the ANCYL in the province is viewed as one of the structures at the forefront of the campaign to undermine Ramaphosa and the new ANC leadership.

Zuma supporters, who converged at the Durban high court to lend him support when he appeared to answer criminal charges ranging from racketeering to corruption on Friday, want to portray the embattled former president as a victim of political manoeuvrings by his enemies within and outside the ANC.

According to his backers, Zuma is being targeted for his support of radical economic policies such as land expropriation without compensation.

“It is not difficult for any right-thinking person to see that Zuma is being humiliated for pursuing pro-poor policies during his time as the country’s president,” the ANCYL leader said.

There are reports that the ANCYL, alongside other ANC structures supporting Zuma, are planning to call for an early ANC conference in a bid to get Ramaphosa replaced as party president.

However, ANCYL provincial spokesperson Mandla Shange denied that the league was gunning for Ramaphosa.

“While it is true that our observation is that the current government has not come up with any plans to implement RET programmes, we will continue supporting the leadership that emerged from the Nasrec [congress],” he said.

ANC PIC co-ordinator Sihle Zikalala, who is the chairperson of the suspended Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) backing Zuma, said he was not aware of any anti-Ramaphosa sentiments in the province.

Zuma supporters last year suffered a major blow following the defeat of their preferred candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in last year’s ANC presidential race won by Ramaphosa.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  jacob zuma

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