Former president Jacob Zuma has labelled the sealing of records revealing the donors behind Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC presidency bid as a betrayal to the party.
Zuma made the accusation in an 11-page letter he wrote to Ramaphosa on Friday in response to one written by the president last week to ANC members. He said that Ramaphosa had sought to shift the blame from individuals in the ANC who served in government to the organisation as a whole.
“My letter does not seek to undermine you at all or to attribute every weakness or challenge facing the ANC or our state solely to you. On the contrary I am simply requesting that each one of us must face as individuals, allegations levelled against us without implicating our movement or naming it accused number one or asking it to bury its head in shame, when individuals are being challenged for their actions,” wrote Zuma.
“Mr President, it is unforgivable to label our rank and file members as criminals for the crimes you and those with whom you serve in the structures of the state are accused of. The ANC has thousands and thousands of members and the overwhelming majority of them are the poorest of the poor. They cannot and should not be accused of the crimes committed by a few comrades deployed in government.”
Ramaphosa’s utterances, he added, gave weight to claims that he sought to hand over the governing party to so-called “white monopoly capital interests”.
“To point your sharp [sic] at the entire ANC and its ordinary working class members is rather low and disappointing, to say the least. Presently formulated, your letter lends credence to the suspicion that you seek to assist those, in our ranks, involved in the attempts to destroy the ANC to hand it over to be a tool of White Monopoly Capital interests,” wrote Zuma.
The letter by Zuma comes as the highest decision-making body in between party conferences — the national executive committee — is meeting in what is set to be an explosive gathering that could decide the future of high-ranking members facing charges related to corruption.
Among them are staunch Zuma ally and former eThekwini chairperson and mayor Zunadile Gumede, called on by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee to step aside from her position in the provincial legislature. The move comes just a week after Gumede, who is out on R50,000 bail, was sworn in as a member of the legislature.
Zuma said he was not surprised that Ramaphosa’s records were sealed by the North Gauteng High Court.
“Worse still, and as a matter of fact, and with some unsurprising help from the judgment of the North Gauteng High Court, you have sealed the record reflecting your generous donors in order for the public and ordinary members of the ANC you lead never to know the identities of those who funded your campaign to win the presidency of our glorious movement and consequently ascend to the highest office in our land. You have done this, knowing full well that the ANC has discouraged and decried the role of money in its internal elections. This, in my view, represents a major betrayal of those who voted for you with no knowledge that their vote was going to be enhanced by WMC donors.”
Zuma’s letter followed hot on the heels of one written by former youth league leader Andile Lungisa earlier in the week, calling on Ramaphosa to open the sealed records and make it known to the organisation he led who funded his bid for the top job in 2017.
“Until you, Mr President and your national executive committee come clean to the ordinary members of our movement, your letters and statements will be construed as your attempts to appease those who, by their ill-gotten riches, catapulted you into the position you hold in our movement. In fact your own spokesperson stands accused of the very corruption you decry in your letter. Your son stands accused of the same allegations.”
Zuma’s spokesperson, Vukile Mathebula, confirmed the authenticity of the letter.