JOHANNESBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent trip to visit US President Joe Biden may be linked to his plans to win the ANC elective conference in December.
Dirco (Department of International Relations and Co-operation) sources have sent an itinerary of Ramaphosa’s meetings in the US to The Star.
His programme was set to start with a meeting with a South African delegation based in the US and for two meetings at the SA consulate.
According to the itinerary Ramaphosa was only set to meet Biden a day after he had arrived but the plan was changed without the knowledge of Dirco and its representatives and no South African officials were allowed in and around the high-level meetings.
According to the sources, Ramaphosa wanted strict privacy with no minutes or records of meetings and acted outside of the embassy and against diplomatic protocol.
“It was so secret that we didn’t know how to report on the trip. There were no talks of bilateral relations, trade agreements or policy. It was like his personal trip to gain support for his party’s election,” the source said.
“Protocol was broken. The US secretary of State was recently here and shortly after, the president goes to meet Biden in the Oval Office and Pretoria doesn’t have a clue why he was there. That may be something for the portfolio committee on international relations to look into” the source said.
The highly placed sources believe that Ramaphosa may have travelled to the US to seek a favour from Biden and the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) to help him win the much-contested election.
In May The Star’s sister paper, the Daily News. exposed a clandestine document linking the CIA, Ramaphosa and the State Security Agency (SSA).
After hefty attempts, including court action, by the SSA to get Independent Media to drop story, the group proceeded to publish.
The report was allegedly compiled by CIA spies based at the US embassy in Pretoria. When the Daily News asked questions about the document, the SSA went to court and obtained an interim interdict until the matter was argued in court.
The SSA authorised its deputy director-general, Welcome Simelane, to file its court papers and was supported in his version by several officials, such as Mava Scott, a spokesperson for the agency, who alerted his bosses about this newspaper’s intention to publish parts of it.
The report showed how the US was able to infiltrate the ANC using certain leaders. As a result, the US was able to use the leaders to change the policy direction in favour of the US.
Simelane advanced a range of reasons why Independent Media should return the report.
“It implicates certain high-profile South African politicians in co-operating with the US, and specifically deals with the US’s involvement in causing conflicts and instabilities in the ANC as the ruling party, the functioning thereof, the different factions therein, who belongs to which faction and which members of the ANC pose a threat to the US interest in South Africa … the disclosure of which … may seriously compromise the peace and well-being of the people of South Africa, because it may cause civil unrest, as happened in the July 2021 uprising and subsequent loss of life and severe damage to property and infrastructure … damage the relationship between the US and the Republic of South Africa and endanger the lives of the people mentioned in the report,” he said in his affidavit.
Concerns about Ramaphosa’s links to the US came after US military jets were seen in Bloemfontein and at Lanseria airport but Dirco officials were in the dark about why they were there.
Dirco portfolio chairperson Supra Mahumapelo was not available for comment.