Former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on Tuesday reportedly declared her support for ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected as the new leader of the governing party.
Speaking at a panel discussion at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg on corporate activism in SA, the former senior opposition leader slammed President Jacob Zuma and likened him to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, TimesLIVE reported.
Unlike Zuma, Ramaphosa was not worried about avoiding jail time over 783 charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering stemming from the 1999 multibillion rand Arms Deal scandal, Mazibuko said.
“[…] Unlike Deputy President Ramaphosa – who I am supporting – it is not a life and death issue for Ramaphosa, but it is for Jacob Zuma‚ if like Schabir Shaik before him‚ he lands up in court and is prosecuted for the 783 charges he faces.
“President Zuma’s focus is on ensuring that the provinces are in order‚ not legal order‚ but order to get his candidate elected. If they are not in that order‚ that election will be deferred‚” she reportedly said.
Mazibuko also said on Twitter Ramaphosa was by far better than fellow ANC presidential candidate and MP Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, however, that was not an endorsement for the ANC.
She said she was apparently told by some ANC insiders that unless Zuma gets his way‚ the chances of the party hosting its 54th National Conference in December were slim.
Mazibuko said like Mugabe – who is said to be “sleepiest” when dealing with running Zimbabwe, but “up and alive” when dealing with attempts to over throw him from power – Zuma was not concerned about the economy because he had it under his control.
“I think of President Zuma in the same way [as Mugabe]. When talk of what is happening in the structures of the ANC takes place‚ I have heard it repeatedly said that that is when he wakes up and that is when he takes interest‚” said Mazibuko.
“President Zuma loses sleep‚ more than anything‚ about the internal [matters] of the ANC that will facilitate the transition that will keep him out of jail. That’s his number-one concern.
“He is determined to make sure‚ either by delaying the congress so that he can be the leader [in] continuity and allows everybody to pour oil on the boiling waters of the internal conflict of the ANC‚ or to make sure he only goes to congress in December once he has the majority for his candidate‚ that’s it.
“Those are the only two options for President Zuma‚” Mazibuko added.