Loyalty questions arise within ANC corridors after election audio leaked

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is not happy with his party’s election campaign. | RAJESH JANTILAL AFP

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is not happy with his party’s election campaign. | RAJESH JANTILAL AFP

Published Apr 23, 2024


QUESTIONS as to whether the national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC is fully behind President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the elections have emerged at Luthuli House.

This comes after Ramaphosa was heard on a leaked audio reading the riot act to NEC members and mentioning sensitive issues, among others, that the media must be monitored in what is seen as an attempt to control the media.

However, what has raised eyebrows among party members is who would have leaked the audio, which has gone viral, since it was a closed meeting of the ANC NEC discussing the election campaign.

The party has since gone cold on the matter, saying it would not comment on leaked information.

“The ANC’s long-standing principle is not to comment on leaked information because we do not want to dignify this unethical behaviour with a response.

“While the ANC will not be drawn into commenting on statements made by individual leaders during its meetings, the ANC is confident of the impact its elections campaign is making and the positive reception the movement is receiving across the length and breadth of the country,” the party said in a statement.

However, a source close to the NEC told The Star that tongues were wagging at the party’s headquarters as to whether everybody was on board with serving under Ramaphosa.

“You must remember members of the NEC now want to save themselves with the emergence of these new parties, especially the MK (uMkhonto weSizwe Party, led by former president Jacob Zuma.).

“People within the NEC don’t know whether to start having talks with these other parties just so they are saved. So leaking such information is the only way right now to show that there is no unity within the movement,” he said.

He said it could border on self-sabotage but it was largely aimed at Ramaphosa.

In the leaked audio, Ramaphosa could be heard saying that the national working committee (NWC) had resolved to monitor negative reportage in the media.

“Wherever there is negative reporting, we resolved that we are going to take that up … We want fair treatment, even more than fair treatment because we are the governing party and the TV stations have no right to be negative towards us and and always either not reporting on our activities or just continue branding us in a negative way…

“We have agreed that, with the NWC, there will be team of comrades that will be watching this space all time and make sure that we take matters up.”

This statement got a backlash from opposition parties, with the DA calling for the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) to probe Ramaphosa over what they called a threat to muzzle the media.

In the clip, Ramaphosa expresses his dissatisfaction with the party’s 2024 election campaign.

He can be heard, in the leaked audio, complaining that the campaign lacked energy and the officials did not give enough support to volunteers.

He also took a swipe at surveys and polls that deemed the ANC as the losing party in the upcoming elections while others gain ground and he addressed coalitions.

“We will be bombarded by all these negative surveys, and we must just exude confidence. None of us must speak about coalitions because we are not in this election for coalitions.

“We are in this election to win an outright victory. That is what encourages and invigorates our ground forces. They want confident leadership that encourages them,” he said in the tape.

The Star

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