Mathabatha comes out in defence of Ramaphosa, slams ANC 'wedge drivers'

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu)
Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu)

Limpopo premier Stan Mathabatha has come out in defence of President Cyril Ramaphosa after the Public Protector's scathing report into a R500 000 donation to his ANC presidential campaign by Bosasa.

Mathabatha, who is also ANC provincial chairperson, was speaking in Polokwane on Sunday at the funeral of ANC and MK stalwart Ike Maphoto who died last Saturday at the age of 88 years.

He cautioned that some people were plotting against the ANC and "spending sleepless nights trying to kill the glorious movement".

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Friday found that Ramaphosa, amongst others, misled Parliament on the donation of R500 000 from the controversial Bosasa company during his party campaign in 2017.

"I led a campaign for the CR17 in this province. There were so many people who were assisting us financially and the president doesn't know about those people. Some of them I also don't [know] them, and I think it was good that I didn't know about them.

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"I also ran a campaign for the chairpersonship [of the ANC] in this province. People were assisting financially and I don't even know [some] of those people. Now, why should the president [Ramaphosa] know about everybody who assisted the CR17 [campaign]?

"There are people running around with bags full of wedge drivers trying to divide this glorious movement," Mathabatha said.

Delivering the eulogy at the funeral, Ramaphosa said the transformation of the country should be sharpened without any motive of material advantage or personal gain.

"Bra Ike abhorred corruption and the abuse of the movement to enrich oneself. I am certain that Bra Ike would have been at the forefront of those against the beneficiaries and defenders of state capture.

"In his honour, we must double our efforts and intensify the fight against corruption and hold accountable all those who facilitated the capture of the state by private interest,” Ramaphosa said.

Maphoto went into exile in 1961 and trained as an MK soldier. He fought in what became known as the "Wankie Sipolilo" operation in the then Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

He was later captured and sentenced to death in 1968. The death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

However, he was released when Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980.

He was buried at the recently established Heroes Acre at Silikon Cemetery in Polokwane on Sunday.   

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