Durban - THE ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Sunday turned into a heated show of force when some of the ANC's top guns took President Cyril Ramaphosa to task over his close proximity to billionaire businessman Johann Rupert, and his failure to implement radical economic transformation (RET).
The Daily News obtained further information last night from highly-placed sources in the party, who revealed that senior ANC NEC member and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma shook the NEC when she asked Ramaphosa why he had failed to implement the ANC’s RET policies that were officially adopted at the party's previous elective conference.
According to the sources, Ramaphosa was taken to task by Dlamini-Zuma while she questioned him over his inaction in advancing and implementing RET policies.
Dlamini-Zuma is said to have also questioned Ramaphosa's “nearness" to Rupert, who was reported by the Daily News to have instructed the ANC president and his trusted battalions to remove the party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule.
At this point, the NEC meeting apparently degenerated into chaos when Dlamini-Zuma asked the president to explain himself.
"The meeting turned sour when Dlamini-Zuma asked the president to explain his close relationship with Rupert. Those loyal to Ramaphosa roared in protest, saying that Dlamini-Zuma was attacking the president", said a source.
Rupert did not respond to questions from the Daily News.
Another source added that it was the first time Ramaphosa had been cornered and requested to explain himself, which brought to light the glaring degree of deep divisions within the ANC.
“This meeting was emotionally draining for some of us. It was the first time the president was openly told to explain himself, and it left us with a clear indication of just how deeply divided the ANC is,” said the source.
Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesperson, Lungi Mtshali, would not comment on the meeting, saying it was up to the ANC to issue a statement and respond to all outcomes of the meeting.
Different factions are said to have become involved in a tug of war as NEC members were polarised when the party’s integrity committee report was tabled.
A source indicated that this was meant to make those who were against Ramaphosa and his alleged plan to suspend Magashule succumb to pressure, but they pushed back, arguing that the president was the subject of investigations and court processes and thus should also step aside.
“The integrity report almost collapsed the meeting. Different views were placed before the meeting, and others suggested that if Magashule was suspended, the president must also step aside as he is also being investigated by the courts and the ANC itself,” said the source.
Ramaphosa's spokesperson Tyrone Seale refused to comment, suggesting that all questions be forwarded to the ANC leadership.
In August 2020, former president Jacob Zuma tore into Ramaphosa, accusing him of betraying the ANC and of being helpful to those who were determined to build a counter-revolutionary party. Zuma said Ramaphosa “played into the hands of those who seek to destroy the ANC and build a counter-revolutionary party under the guise of fighting corruption”.
“You write, for your own desires to plead for white validation and approval, the worst betrayal of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and others who sacrificed their own freedom for the ANC. With your pen, you desecrate the graves of young men and women who lived and died cruel deaths at the hands of apartheid security forces and mercenaries," Zuma wrote in a letter addressed to Ramaphosa.
In July 2019, Zuma told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture that he had heard of a threat made by Rupert from Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who had attended an event at one of Rupert’s farms.
Zuma said Mbalula informed him that at this event Rupert had told Mbalula, who was the Sports minister at the time, that should he remove Pravin Gordhan as Finance minister he and others “would shut down the economy” and collapse the rand.
“Indeed they did interfere with the rand,” Zuma said, telling the commission that one person had this year admitted to this.
In December 2019, the Sunday Independent reported that Ramaphosa and his business allies were going out of their way to privatise state-owned enterprises and destroy black-owned companies funded by the Public Investment Corporation as part of a bigger plot to turn voters against the ANC in favour of a coalition of almost all opposition parties except the EFF.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe did not respond to requests for comment.