Durban – President Cyril Ramaphosa has distanced himself from any plots to oust former President Jacob Zuma from the presidency, which he unceremoniously exited on February 14, 2018, amidst pressure from the then newly elected ANC NEC.
In a recording of the meeting, which was leaked on Friday, Ramaphosa, who ascended to the ANC presidency in December 2017, could be heard addressing Zuma telling him that he was not his enemy.
“In your mind it’s possible that you would say ‘no, Cyril Ramaphosa has always been against me and he’s wanted me to go to jail or he wants no support for me for my legal cases’ and so on.
“That’s possibly your view but I’d like to say – and I don’t even want to say you should believe me – but that has never been my orientation. I see you as my leader, as my elder in the ANC,” Ramaphosa says.
In the voice recording, Ramaphosa – the incumbent head of the ANC and State, then goes on to say that another leader of the party, former president Thabo Mbeki, had never had “a supportive disposition towards me” although he had never wanted to see evil done.
“Even as a view was taken that he should be taken out of the position I am one of those, and you as well, who said ‘no, it should not happen in this way’, but in the end we lost out the argument.
“You will remember how Comrade Thabo was taken out. There were contrary voices, mine and yours and a few others voices [sic] but we were overwhelmed and in this case as well, in your case, we were overwhelmed as well.
“But I guess you believe that I am deceitful and I am not to be trusted. I’m sorry that you see things that way Comrade JZ,” Ramaphosa concluded.
It is unclear when Ramaphosa made the address to Zuma, but it comes as the latter has recently accused the ANC of betraying him in the face of numerous legal woes that he was facing.
In Zuma’s speaking notes with the Top 6 of the ANC, addressed to the ANC’s secretary-general Ace Magashule, bearing his name and dated March 28, Zuma expresses his displeasure with the ANC’s lack of support for him.
“Comrades, today you have come to me seeking to show that I am wrong in not going to the state capture commission charged by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. You come under the pretext of sympathy to me and to convince me to testify before the commission.
“Basically, this meeting is not about the issues I have raised, which should concern you, but a public show aimed at displaying to forces external to the ANC so that you can rein me in,” Zuma wrote.