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Ramaphosa: Magashule’s phone-tapping claims are untrue

In response to ANC's Ace Magashule’s claims, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: 'I also suspected that my phone was bugged, there is no phone that is bugged.'

ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa campaigning in Sandton on 4 April 2019. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday labelled claims that the party’s senior members’ phones were tapped as untrue, saying the matter was now behind the party.

Ramaphosa was speaking on the newly launched Newzroom Afrika’s Round Table show.

Over the weekend, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told eNCA his phone and that of his deputy, Jessie Duarte, were tapped. He also claimed some of his comrades in the ANC complained that state organs were being used to target them.

In response to Magashule’s claims, Ramaphosa said Thursday night: “I also suspected that my phone was bugged, there is no phone that is bugged.”

He said Magashule reacted out of anger when he uttered those words.

“He [Magashule] is dealing with the matter. Let us have trust in the efficacy of the process to deal with this matter. Uniting the ANC was always going to be a challenge and I can say we have succeeded in forging unity in the ANC.”

Magashule also said earlier this week that he reported allegations that his phone was being tapped to the Inspector General of Intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe.

JOBS AND ECONOMY

Ramaphosa said young people have been pleading with government that the requirement for work experience for graduates be done away with.

He spent Thursday morning at the Nedbank offices in Johannesburg, engaging with youth who are part of a programme that employed hundreds of people, giving them an opportunity in corporate business.

“Many people with money, possible investors have said the lack of confidence is a major barrier, we’re addressing that and the issue of policy uncertainty.”

With the ANC being in government for the past 25 years of democracy, Ramaphosa said his party was not able to do everything right.

“We have hit some buttons correctly but some we have not hit as correctly as we should have. We’ve now embarked on the process of renewal.”

He has once again promised jobs to the youth and an improved economy. Government and other stakeholders have promised 275,000 jobs in the next five years.

Touching on Eskom, the president said the unbundling would get the company to focus on what needs to be done.

“What we will need to do going forward is to see how we can strengthen it. As the restricting process unfolds, we don’t foresee the loss of jobs [at Eskom]. We want to make sure that we secure jobs.”

CORRUPTION

On corruption, the president said: “It impacts on the poor than on people who are a little wealthier. What we’ve got to do is repair the institutions that were weakened.”

He says inquiries such as the state capture commission are revealing the truth and the people implicated will be dealt with.

“The governing party has acknowledged that corruption is a major issue and we’re going to deal with it.”

He said the issue of urgency was very prominent in their plans.

“We are repairing and repositioning [institutions that were exposed to be corrupt]. I know ordinary people of South Africa want people in jail and action now, but these issues take time. We’ve committed ourselves to renewal [ as the ANC] and as we do this, we will be adhering to the good values.”

He said there was an important filter in the form of the ANC’s Integrity Commission which will would recommendations that would impact on who stayed and who would be held to account after the elections.

“We’re renewing and repositioning the ANC so it can be trusted again. People should trust the ANC, they are looking at us in the face and looking at our determination… we’re correcting the wrongs of the past.”

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