‘Things will change’, says Ramaphosa as he maintains ANC dictates to Zuma

2018-01-15 13:45
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday rejected calls for the terms of reference of the state capture inquiry to be broadened to include transgressions dating back several years.

Speaking during an interview on eNCA­ on Sunday, Ramaphosa said asking the commission to deal with matters stretching back several decades would cause unnecessary delays.

“It is important that the terms of reference are in keeping with the public protector’s report. We should not contaminate this commission by saying we should go back to 1652,” he said.

The commission, Ramaphosa said, should investigate people whose names had been mentioned in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report. “This one is very clear, we are talking about things that happened now, where there are clear leads,” he said.

Ramaphosa’s statement followed last week’s announcement by President Jacob Zuma that an inquiry would be headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. However, the ANC leader’s views around the commission’s terms of reference are at odds with those of Madonsela’s successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

READ: Madonsela hits back at Mkhwebane over 'scope creep'

Mkhwebane, who succeeded Madonsela in 2016 after the latter’s term of office had come to an end, had called for a wide probe “not limited to the issues investigated or identified in the State of Capture report”.

Ramaphosa also disclosed that he recently held a meeting with Zuma.

“We discussed a whole range of matters ... it went smoothly. We also raised matters that needed urgent attention ... that too went very smoothly,” he said.

Zuma has appealed the court judgment compelling him to institute the commission of inquiry into state capture. However, he announced the launch of the inquiry shortly after his meeting with Ramaphosa. Asked whether Zuma had agreed to take instructions from the new ANC leadership, Ramaphosa responded by saying that Zuma had accepted that the party was “the centre”.

“Once you accept the fact that the ANC is the centre then it goes without saying that you should also accept the decisions of the ANC,” he said.

There has been speculation that the embattled head of state had agreed to be micro-managed by the ANC’s new leadership as part of a deal to ensure he kept his job.

ALSO READ: ANC NEC in fresh bid to oust Zuma

Ramaphosa said Zuma had agreed the two would have to meet regularly to ensure that there was no disjuncture between what government was doing and ANC plans.

“It is the ANC that dictates, not only to him but to all of us,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa was speaking a day after delivering the ANC’s January 8 statement that listed unity, the fight against corruption and the revitalisation of the economy as the party’s main priorities.

Addressing thousands of ANC supporters in East London’s Absa Stadium, Ramaphosa made it clear that the new leadership operated differently to the one under Zuma.

“Things will change. To those who have being stealing government money, it has to come to an end,” Ramaphosa said to rapturous applause from the crowd.

Zuma, who stepped down as ANC president during last month’s conference after being at the helm for 10 years, was booed by the crowd when he arrived at the venue.

There has been renewed speculation that the NEC could discuss Zuma’s future during the body’s meeting on Thursday.

Read more on:    anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  thuli madonsela  |  pietermaritzburg  |  state capture inquiry

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