Former president Jacob Zuma has written a biting response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s open letter, saying it was penned as a plea for white validation and approval, which is a betrayal to struggle heroes Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and others who sacrificed their freedom.
On Sunday, Ramaphosa issued an open letter to ANC members raising a number of issues and taking a hard line on corruption related to the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
The letter said that the ANC was “accused number 1” with respect to corruption, and implored members to desist from any involvement in corrupt activities or leave the party.
In response, Zuma wrote: “With your pen, you desecrate the young men and women who lived and died cruel deaths at the hands of apartheid security forces and mercenaries. These heroes paid the highest price fighting for our freedom and in defence of the ANC. We should therefore never implicate them when we as individuals are accused of misconduct.”
Zuma says Ramaphosa’s stance is fundamentally flawed in many aspects and plays into the hand of those who want to “destroy the ANC and build from its ashes a counter-revolutionary party under the guise of fighting corruption”.
The private letter addressed to Ramaphosa, dated August 28 2020, highlights that the president’s letter shows a lack of understanding of the ANC and the way in which its structures work, and adds that it is “unjustifiable” to blame all members of the party for misconduct by a small group.
He writes that the statements made by Ramaphosa are “not helpful” in the ANC’s view. Zuma accuses Ramaphosa of being the first ANC president to have “pleaded guilty” in saying that the governing party is complicit in acts of criminality.
“Mr President, by stating that the ANC stands as ‘accused number 1’ in respect of the charge of corruption, you implicate thousands of innocent members of the ANC who continue to face hunger and dehumanising poverty and have never benefitted from corruption,” the letter reads.
Zuma then said that instead of accusing the many innocent members of the governing party, Ramaphosa should instead address allegations against his spokesperson, Khusela Diko, and his son, who Zuma claims has been involved in tender corruption.
The former president highlighted that many would think that his letter is aimed at undermining the leadership or trying to ignore the allegations levelled against him, but said this was the least of his worries at the moment.
He also noted that many of the white people who favoured Ramaphosa would be taking efforts to discredit his opinion through writing opinion pieces about the matter.
Zuma believes that Ramaphosa should be the one leading by example and disclose whether any of his companies received tenders from the state during his tenure as deputy president of the country.
He goes on to accuse Ramaphosa of diverting any allegations made against him, before mentioning the R1 billion which was supposedly donated to the CR17 campaign and noting that the money “amounted to sacrificing the historic mission of the ANC for 30 pieces of silver”.
Zuma criticises the president for sealing the information regarding the donors.
“You have done this knowing full well that the ANC has discouraged and decried the role of money in its internal elections. This, in my view, represents a major betrayal for those who voted for you with the knowledge that their vote was going to be enhanced by white monopoly capital doors,” Zuma stated.