Editorials 20.12.2017 07:00 am

Cometh the hour, cometh the man

Cometh the hour, cometh the man

Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. That’s how Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa must have felt when he woke up this morning just hours after becoming the new ANC president

Ramaphosa is now in touching distance of becoming South Africa’s next president after defeating presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma by 179 votes in a closely-contested ANC presidency vote on Monday.

But his challenges are far and wide, and he will have to take some brave, tough decisions going forward if he is to win over the ruling party and the country.

The 65-year-old has inherited a party that is split. The lead-up to the national conference highlighted this, and the aftermath of the results have confirmed it.

The most part of yesterday was spent on calls for a recount and a possible revote after voting controversy over the selection of the top six. Like him or not, you have to feel for Ramaphosa. He has to deal with the prospect of the ANC losing the 2019 elections, he must find a solution of where to fund free education and the dark cloud of state capture hangs above his party and the government.

Even his own party have come out strongly against him, with the ANC Women’s League and Youth League publicly stating that they are not in favour of him being ANC president.

To top this off, the opposition parties smell blood, and won’t let up if they don’t see Ramaphosa taking decisive action on state capture, the appointment of a new National Prosecuting Authority head, and taking a swift decision on what to do with President Jacob Zuma.

He’ll have to sort this out, and sort it out quickly. But this could work in his favour. The challenges are an opportunity to show he is man enough for the job. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. It’s up to Ramaphosa.

ANC January 8th statement to be delivered in East London

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