Tony Yengeni calls on Ramaphosa to step down
Cape Town – Following a scathing letter from former President Jacob Zuma addressed to his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, in which he slated Ramaphosa for saying the ANC should be the “Accused No 1” as accusations of corruption mount, a senior member, Tony Yengeni, has reportedly asked the president to step down asked ahead of the party's national executive committee (NEC).
TimesLive reported that Yengeni has asked Ramaphosa to step down ahead of what is expected to be an explosive sitting of the NEC.
The call was reportedly made at a national working committee meeting on Friday ahead of the NEC meeting, sources said.
Aside from being unhappy with Ramaphosa’s letter, Yengeni said the president should lead by example and step down because he was accused of vote-buying at the Nasrec conference.
Ramaphosa penned a letter to ANC members at the weekend and spoke out against corruption.
In his letter, Ramaphosa said that corruption was one of the issues to be confronted head-on and that it had caused the greatest outrage and that there were private sector companies and individuals, including civil servants, who had exploited a grave medical, social and economic crisis to wrongfully enrich themselves.
Ramaphosa said this was an unforgivable betrayal for millions of South Africans who were being negatively affected by the impact of Covid-19, experiencing hunger daily, hopelessness and joblessness.
On Friday, Zuma responded to Ramaphosa's letter with his own no-holds-barred letter in which he said Ramaphosa’s letter had betrayed a lack of understanding of how the leadership of the ANC should communicate with its structures.
Further rebuking Ramaphosa for his letter, Zuma said that it was “absolutely unjustified” of Ramaphosa to attribute to the entire ANC and its ordinary members, misconduct of a few individuals that had access to state power and its resources as well as ANC leadership positions.
He added that by stating that the ANC stood as “Accused No. 1” in respect of the charge of corruption, Ramaphosa implicated thousands of innocent members of the ANC who continued to face hunger and dehumanising poverty and had never benefited from corruption.
“You proceed to say the ANC should bury its head in shame. Mr President, this statement that you make is not helpful to the ANC, in my respectful view.
“For all intents and purposes, it can only serve to destroy the ANC, particularly if the head of the ANC pleads guilty on behalf of the ANC, and calls the ANC the accused Number 1.
“Your actions are unprecedented in this regard. Mr President you are indeed the first president of the ANC to stand in public and accuse the ANC of criminality and that the ANC must be the accused Number 1 as accusations of corruption mount,” Zuma said.