One of Cyril Ramaphosa’s former comrades has questioned the deputy president’s bona fides‚ saying his recent utterances against corruption were “a little too late”.
COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota‚ a former ANC leader‚ said Ramaphosa had until recently been one of President Jacob Zuma’s greatest defenders.
“Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sudden awoke consciousness comes a little too late‚ considering the fact that the things that his sudden conscience reveals have been in the public domain before he was even elected as deputy president of the ANC in 2012‚” Lekota said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Ramaphosa has become an outspoken critic of the Zuma administration in recent months as he campaigns for the leadership of the ANC ahead of the party’s elective conference in December.
Ramaphosa this week repeated his calls for allegations of state capture to be investigated. He also laid into the Gupta family‚ who are associates of President Zuma and have been implicated in the state capture allegations in a series of damning leaked emails.
But Lekota said Ramaphosa was “the same man who defended Zuma and even went as far as voting for the firepool and the R1m kraal in Nkandla in 2015”.
“Seven times he voted ‘no’ in a motion of no confidence in Zuma‚ including impeachment‚” Lekota said.
“He has thus far not called upon law enforcement agencies to investigate and make arrests on those implicated in state capture and the Gupta leaks.”
Lekota‚ a former ANC chairperson and defence minister in President Thabo Mbeki’s cabinet‚ said Ramaphosa’s criticism of controversial PR firm Bell Pottinger was also disingenuous.
“He can’t now act ignorant and distant from the PR firm‚ Bell Pottinger‚ when the recent ANC Policy Conference was predominantly on topics constructed by the PR firm‚” said Lekota‚ who formed the breakaway COPE after Mbeki was ousted as president in 2008.
Bell Pottinger chief executive James Henderson recently apologised for the work the company did for the Gupta family and Oakbay Investments. The PR firm has been accused of sowing racial divisions in South Africa.
“COPE urges South Africans not to be fooled by Cyril Ramaphosa’s sudden consciousness when the ANC has made it clear that on 8 August‚ all ANC MPs must vote along party lines‚ defend Jacob Zuma from the vote of no confidence‚ continuing to protect corruption and state capture‚” Lekota said.
“Ramaphosa has never told South Africans what he‚ as Deputy President‚ and others in the Cabinet have done to stop the runaway and ballooning corruption in departments and entities being revealed by the Auditor General year after year.”