Ministers with “smallanyana” skeletons are drumming up support for President Cyril Ramaphosa not to resign because they are afraid of going to jail or their shenanigans being exposed once he is gone.
By Mzilikazi Wa Afrika Setumo Stone
Four independent sources confirmed that Ramaphosa opted to resign on Wednesday night after the Independent Panel report went viral “for his own integrity and save the country as well as the party from further embarrassment” from the Phala Phala scandal but “some ministers, who have portrayed themselves as champions of anti-corruption” lobbied him to stay because they have skeletons in their closets.
A source close to Ramaphosa said the president spent Wednesday night in Cape Town telling his close allies that he is going to announce his resignation to the nation the following day.
“Some of the ministers, one minister, in particular, told the president that he must not resign and that they will defend him as they have already activated their journalists and political commentators to spin the findings of the Independent Panel’s report. But the president told them that he was resigning for his own integrity and to save the country as well as the ANC from further embarrassment. The president was genuine that he was resigning and not tasting the waters,” the source said.
The second source said it has now emerged “some ministers who portray themselves as angels are rotten to the core.”
“Some ministers, who portray themselves to the public as champions of anti-corruption, told the president that they are likely to go to jail if he resigns because they have done a lot of bad things and they need him to stay so they don’t go to jail.”
A third source added that one minister in particular, “was sort of blackmailing the president.”
“This minister was basically telling the president that if you resign and we get arrested, we are going down with you. It appears that the president was recently given damning files about corruption involving certain ministers and he has already confronted them with the allegations and they were preparing fightback strategies behind the scenes.”
The fourth source added that Ramaphosa indicated that he didn’t want the Phala Phala scandal to end his political career but wanted to resign and fight the case from outside.
“Ramaphosa told them that if he doesn’t resign, he is going to be booed and embarrassed in Parliament and that there are national elections in 2024 and he doesn’t want to be accused of being the one who made the ANC lose the elections because by him staying, a lot of people might not vote for him or the party.”
However, some of his Cabinet ministers had, “out of self-preservation,” fiercely lobbied him to stay put, said an ANC insider. If he was to resign, his Cabinet members should also follow suit, the person said.
Potential buyers of parts of state arms company Denel in the Middle East were also anxious about Ramaphosa’s exit before some of the key deals were signed. Denel officials and the prospective buyers met this week in Abu Dhabi, UAE, according to an insider with intimate knowledge.
OPPOSITION DARES CR
Nothing stopped Parliament from sitting on Tuesday to debate and vote over the findings in the panel report and his plans to take the report on judicial review were “stillborn,” the Sunday Independent heard.
And if the governing ANC used its majority in Parliament to protect Ramaphosa from scrutiny, then he will face a motion of no confidence based on the same grounds. Opposition leaders warned that “Ramaphosa would be a hypocrite because all along he said that he would fully submit himself before any investigation on the matter”.
The ATM, which initiated the Parliamentary investigation into whether Ramaphosa should face an impeachment inquiry, on Saturday said “the planned sitting would go ahead whether or not Ramaphosa has resigned”.
“The report is not an administrative decision. There is no order there, there are just mere recommendations stemming from the mandate of Parliament in accordance with the rules of the House. The rules prescribe that there must be a process whereby an independent panel determines whether there is prima facie evidence,” ATM president Vuyo Zungula told Sunday Independent.
He continued: “That is why they use the words ‘may have a case to answer’, meaning that report is not pronouncing the guilt of anyone. Therefore, that report cannot be legally reviewed. The only thing the president can do is to review the resolution of Parliament, which would be after Tuesday”.
He said there were no sound legal principles for Ramaphosa to interdict the sitting on Tuesday, but he could try if that is what his advisers and supporters were telling him. The courts could never agree to interdict Parliament from exercising its Constitutional obligation, he said, adding that “we do not believe that he has legal standing to stop Parliament from doing what Parliament is elected to do”.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said Ramaphosa was widely known to be a process person and it would be uncharacteristic “if he does not want Parliament to sit on Tuesday and consider this report”.
“It is strange that Ramaphosa, who is a legal person, would want to review an opinion. The panel report is an opinion which is yet to be tested, and the body which would test that opinion is none other than the Parliamentary proposed inquiry. He cannot interdict or review an opinion because he will be wasting his time,” said Holomisa.
He said the courts would also be apprehensive to interfere in a Constitutional process that was still underway.
“The report is yet to be tabled in Parliament and it would be odd for anyone to try and circumvent everything. Something is big that this guy is hiding. It is huge, and the more he does this, the more he creates suspicion. The more he handles this, the more he digs a hole for himself. He would not have to explain why he is running away”.
Instead, he said, “Ramaphosa should be convincing his ANC caucus that I said publicly that I will comply with all the inquiries and Parliament is part of that group of investigations”.
Holomisa said that “if the ANC uses its numbers to outvote the opposition and throw the report out, then we will go for a vote of no confidence”.
Zungula said it was telling that “the white monopoly capital, which operates via the media, certain professors and political analysts, is trying to downplay the gravity of the seriousness of the alleged transgressions by the president”.
He said Ramaphosa’s responses to the panel were incoherent and nonsensical, “which clearly shows that we have a problem that requires Parliament to do what is elected to do”. “Whether he resigns or not, the impeachment will continue”.
RAMAPHOSA SNUBS ANC
There was an outcry in ANC circles that Ramaphosa granted priority to unidentified individuals whom his governing ANC did not even know in his consultations on whether to resign or not.
Consequently, the ANC’s top brass has for days been tongue-tied and unable to come up with a meaningful response to questions about Ramaphosa’s future in the face of uncertainty. Ramaphosa’s round of consultations started on Wednesday following the damning findings of the Parliamentary panel report that recommended his impeachment.
He was due to meet ANC officials for the first time yesterday, a full three days since the release of the explosive panel report. The officials’ meeting was expected to be held at Ramaphosa’s residence in Johannesburg. However, by early Friday evening, there was still no final confirmation on the logistics. His colleagues were flexible and open to unexpected changes if any.
A national executive committee meeting was due to be held earlier on Friday but it was adjourned because of Ramaphosa’s unavailability. This sparked concerns that he was consulting with all and sundry ahead of the organisation that deployed him into office.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said after the meeting adjourned that the Parliamentary panel report would be processed through normal ANC channels before the national executive committee meets today (Sunday). The discussion would begin with the officials, followed by the national working committee and then the national executive committee.
This was originally published here by the IOL