Johannesburg - ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu says recent scandalous reports about Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are a part of a political agenda to halt his possible prospects of becoming ANC president in December.
On Sunday, The Sunday Independent reported that it was in possession of leaked emails belonging to Ramaphosa which show he had affairs with multiple women, some of whom he maintains financially.
Ramaphosa confessed to one affair with his former doctor, but denied that he was a “blesser”.
On the campaign trail on Sunday, Ramaphosa said the recent revelations would not deter his goals of leading the ANC.
Mthembu said on Monday that he was not defending the merits and demerits of the leaked emails, but said there was a political agenda behind these allegations about Ramaphosa.
“We are talking about the political agenda behind these revelations. Not the merits or demerits of these revelations. But there is a political agenda, and that political agenda is to damage the reputation of Ramaphosa so that he doesn’t become ANC president in December,” said Mthembu.
The Chief Whip went on to praise Ramaphosa as “incorruptible” also referencing his days when he was the leader of the National Union of Mineworkers.
As possible explanation for the timing of the revelations, Mthembu said there were some who were scared of what would happen if Ramaphosa took leadership.
“If he was the President we would have already had the commission of inquiry on state capture long ago. People want to stop him because they know that he will institute serious investigations around graft in government and he will also restore the credibility of our movement the ANC. That’s why people want to him. We don’t believe that the people that want to stop him have the interest of the ANC at heart,” said Mthembu.
The ANC’s much anticipated elective conference takes place in December with Ramaphosa and former African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma emerging as contenders.
A number of regions and branches have pronounced on their preferred candidates.
Last week the ANC in Ekurhuleni announced that it backed Dlamini-Zuma to take over the reins, while the Northern Cape has pronounced that it backs Ramaphosa.
Mthembu said that he believed in Ramaphosa’s leadership so much that he wouldn’t mind recommending his branch to nominate him for ANC president.
“He is a person that I am rooting for, and he is the person that I would even advice my own branch to nominate him as President. He has a quality. We believe SA would be on a better trajectory if Ramaphosa would become President,” said Mthembu.