Cape Town – Former ANC and State President Jacob Zuma has lambasted his successor in both positions, Cyril Ramaphosa, of leaving the ANC out to dry by accusing the party of criminality and saying the ANC is ’’Accused No. 1’’ as accusations of corruption mount.
This follows Ramaphosa’s letter last Sunday in which he said 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.
Zuma did not take kindly to the letter, saying that 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 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 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.
He then further slated Ramaphosa of being the first ANC president, since its formation in 1912, to stand in public and accuse the ANC as an organisation and to say the ANC should bury its head in shame.
Zuma added that this was a devastating statement coming from a sitting president of the organisation and head of state.
Zuma said Ramaphosa’s letter was a diversion and a ’’public relations exercise’’ by which he accused the entire ANC in order to save his own skin.
“By accusing the ANC for acts committed by a few of its individual members, you betray Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Sol Plaatjie, John Langalibalele Dube, Rev Rubusana, Chief Albert Luthuli, Dr Alfred Xhuma, Dr Moroka and all those who assembled on 8 January 1912 to form this glorious movement called ANC.
“You write, for your own desires to plead for white validation and approval, the worst betrayal of Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and others who sacrificed their own freedom for the ANC,” Zuma wrote.
He added that by penning the letter, Ramaphosa had desecrate the graves of young men and women who lived and died cruel deaths at the hands of apartheid security forces and mercenaries.
Zuma said these heroes had paid the highest price fighting for South Africa’s freedom and in defence of the ANC.
“We should therefore never implicate them when we, as individuals, are accused of corruption and misconduct. I know, Mr President, my letter will be misconstrued as an attempt to ignore the allegations levelled against me, or to attribute every failure of the ANC to you.
“Many, in white circles that are fond of you, and seek to minimise your errors, will fill their barrels of ink and sharpen their pens to condemn me for expressing my views.
’’They will, through their infamous grand narrative, write a series of opinion pieces to diminish the significance of the issues I raise,” Zuma said.
READ FULL THE LETTER BELOW