Thuggery disguised as radical economic transformation won't be tolerated: Ramaphosa
Pietermaritzburg - African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for tough action from law enforcement agencies against people who invade government offices demanding work and tenders under the guise of radical economic transformation.
Speaking at a business breakfast in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday as part of the ANC's Thuma Mina campaign, he criticised such recent action as "an act of thuggery".
“This new thing of people who raid buildings and disrupt activity on construction sites demanding that they be given percentages of work should be stopped or else we will be a country of lawlessness,” Ramaphosa said.
The ANC was the only custodian of radical economic transformation. “Those invading offices are people who are hijacking and distorting our policies and we are saying the law enforcement agencies must act and deal with them. There must be consequences [for] management in this country, where if you do wrong you must face consequences,” he said.
Members of the Federation for Radical Economic Transformation allegedly held KwaZulu-Natal health department head Musa Gumede hostage on Thursday, demanding tenders from the department.
Ramaphosa, who had earlier participated in a walk in KwaMashu in Durban, also a part of the Thuma Mina campaign, reiterated the ANC's commitment to land expropriation without compensation, saying it would go ahead regardless of what the critics said.
In the same manner as he had done on a recent visit to China, he would visit the United States to dispel "misconceptions" about the ANC’s policy on land reform. “We don’t apologise about correcting imbalances. Land reform shall happen whether people like it or not,” he told the audience.
He allayed fears that land would be given to politicians and the elite, stressing that ordinary people would be the beneficiaries. Land reform would be a win-win situation for all, as opposed to past imbalance.
Ramaphosa was accompanied by, among others, KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairman Sihle Zikalala, who also emphasised that while the ANC was for economic transformation, the party would not condone anarchy.
“When we talk about land expropriation without compensation, we are not referring to land grabs, and we will not allow that to happen under our watch,” Zikalala warned.
He welcomed the commitment from some farmers in KwaZulu-Natal who had opted to enter into co-ownership of farms with local communities, saying such a move would go a long way towards an all-inclusive economy.