Ramaphosa warns of more attacks as ANC leadership battle draws closer

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa also slammed those who are using state resources to fight political battles.

FILE: ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa speaking at the SACP’s 14th National Congress in Boksburg on 12 July 2017. Picture: Twitter/@SACP1921

JOHANNESBURG – Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has warned of more attacks on African National Congress (ANC) leaders as the party’s elective conference approaches.

Ramaphosa was speaking in the West Rand on Sunday night following weekend reports that he cheated on his wife with eight women.

The deputy president has admitted to cheating only once and says he and his wife have dealt with the matter.

He’s one of the front-runners to succeed President Jacob Zuma in December.

Ramaphosa also slammed those who are using state resources to fight political battles.

“This must stop because if we allow it to carry on, it is going to be cancer that’s going to consume all of us.”

Meanwhile, questions are being asked as to whether these allegations will dent Ramaphosa’s election campaign.

Political analyst Theo Venter says that Ramaphosa’s decision to take the Sunday Independent to court at the 11th hours was ill-informed and badly prepared for.

Venter says if President Zuma and former US president Bill Clinton could survive their sex scandals, Ramaphosa still has a chance.

“Let’s be frank, I don’t think the sex lives of politicians impacts directly on their ability to govern, but I do think it impacts on their morality and I do think that politicians should be kept at the highest standards.”

Ramaphosa has admitted to having an affair eight years ago but says he ended the relationship and told his wife about it.

UNSUCCESSFUL BID

Ramaphosa was unsuccessful on Saturday night in his attempt to stop the Sunday Independent from publishing its article.

The judge ruled that he had sufficient time to release two statements after receiving emails from the paper and therefore the article could be published.

In a statement, Ramaphosa says he feels “compelled” to respond to “deeply disturbing suggestions” that he had given money to several young women for romantic relationships.

“There are 54 young students – both men and women – that my wife and I provide financial assistance to on a monthly basis and have done so for several years. It is unfortunate that evidence of these bank transfers have been used to make scandalous allegations against me and, worse, to make public the names of some of the people assisted.”

The deputy president that says he’s disappointed following the publication of the women’s names and pictures on social media.

“We find it disturbing that the privacy of these young women has been violated through the publication of their names and pictures on social media. It shows a callous disregard for the rights of the individual.”

He has described the alleged social media smear campaign as a “dirty war”.

“This latest episode extends far beyond an attempt at political smear. It represents an escalation of a dirty war against those who are working to restore the values, principles and integrity of the African National Congress and society.”

He adds that he’s convinced that the time has come for the membership of the African National Congress to restore the organisation as a genuine movement of the people.

“If the intention of this campaign is to weaken the resolve of those fighting to revitalise the ANC and unite our country, it has failed.

“I am now even more convinced that our movement, the African National Congress, needs to be restored to its rightful owners, the people of South Africa.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)