DURBAN – Political economist Moeletsi Mbeki has said that those theorising that President Cyril Ramaphosa was in danger of being ousted following next month’s general elections were “talking nonsense”.
“The ANC is an institution, it’s not run by individuals – like all institutions are not run by individuals... so the impact of individuals on an institution – yes, they do have a role, they do have an impact, but not a fundamental policy impact,” said Mbeki.
He was speaking to African News Agency (ANA) at the Hilton Hotel in Durban on Tuesday where he was set to appear as part of a panel at an event hosted by the Xubera Institute for Research and Development.
People who said they supported Ramaphosa but not the ANC, and would thus vote for the ANC because of Ramaphosa, were experiencing “desperation for a messiah”, he said.
“They know that Cyril was elected by the ANC and there were resolutions that he has to implement that were passed [at the December 2017 ANC] conference, and he is implementing them, like land expropriation, downgrading of the embassy in Israel, etc.
“That’s how institutions operate. He hasn’t got a free hand to do whatever he likes. He was not elected as an individual.
“Donald Trump was elected as an individual, so he can have his policies, admittedly within the limitations of the Republican Party. But Trump can negotiate with the Republican Party.
“Cyril has no room to negotiate because he was not elected by the people as an individual,” said Mbeki, and thus there was no need for Ramaphosa to be removed.
Those saying that the president would be removed to bring an end to, for example, the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, chaired by deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, should remember that the commission was “created by the public protector”, he said.
The commission had to be established because constitutionally the public protector’s recommendations are binding, he said.
Similarly, those saying that Ramaphosa had gotten rid of controversial former South African Revenue Service (SARS) boss Tom Moyane should remember that judge Robert Nugent recommended that Moyane be fired immediately. “Cyril was dithering and doing nothing,” Mbeki said.
Those punting theories about having to vote for Ramaphosa were “living in cloud-cuckoo-land,” Mbeki said.
“The white and black middle class are benefiting from the status quo, so they are telling people to vote for Cyril to keep that status quo,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)