'I’m not a dictator of the ANC'
President Cyril Ramaphosa has hit back at accusations that he is unable to assert his authority in the wake of dissent within the African National Congress (ANC).
In an interview following his three-country international tour, Ramaphosa has insisted that he's not weak.
“I’m the president of the African National Congress, I’m not a dictator of the African National Congress.”
This was Ramaphosa's response to assertions that he's a weak ANC leader.
Despite making strides in office, Ramaphosa has come under fire for not being firm against those who are his known opponents.
But he disagreed, saying he is purposely trying to unite the ANC.
“Even if I’m told 'you’re a weak leader, why didn’t you kick out Supra? Why didn’t you do this?' I’m forging unity.”
He says he is aware of a fight back against his leadership in the ANC but insists that he will stick to his guns on uniting the party.
Despite Ramaphosa’s efforts to clean up the state, he is facing resistance within the ANC.
Ramaphosa has conceded that the delay in removing former President Jacob Zuma immediately after he was elected ANC president made him look weak.
“There were those who were saying ‘you are a weak president... why haven’t you kicked President Zuma out?’”
But Ramaphosa said he will not risk the unity of the ANC even if he is labelled weak.
“I said I’d rather be seen as weak a president than to split the ANC.”
He has also come under fire for not asserting his authority as party leader but Ramaphosa says he is not a dictator.
Ramaphosa’s detractors in the ANC have threatened to call a National General Council (NGC) to remove him as president.
But he seems unperturbed, saying whether an NGC is called or not it will not derail his efforts to unite the party.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)