Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
6 May 2021
5:08 pm

Who are you representing? EFF quizzes Ramaphosa over ANC ‘suspension’

Thapelo Lekabe

Ramaphosa says a majority of South Africans still have confidence in the ANC despite its challenges.

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking in Parliament. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday was quizzed by the EFF over his “suspension” from the ANC by embattled secretary-general Ace Magashule.

While he was replying to MP’s oral questions in the National Assembly, EFF deputy president and MP Floyd Shivambu, attempted to ask the president about his suspension.

ALSO READ: ‘I’m still the secretary-general’ – defiant Magashule sticks to his guns

However, he was shot down by the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli, who said the question was not related to Ramaphosa’s responsibilities as the head of state.

“We are here to listen to the president of the country and so this is what is going to proceed,” Tsenoli said.

But Shivambu insisted his question needed to be addressed in Parliament before the president could respond to MPs’ questions.

“He must clarify who is he representing, is he representing his jacket or a political party because he is not,” he said.

Some ANC MPs could also be heard bashing Shivambu for his point of order and questioned why he was interested in the internal matters of the party.

This followed Magashule’s suspension letter addressed to Ramaphosa that surfaced on Wednesday following his suspension from the ANC due to his corruption trial.

In the letter, dated 3 May 2021, Magashule cited allegations of vote buying involving Ramaphosa’s CR17 ANC presidential campaign and the court case related to the sealing of the campaign’s financial records.

Voters still have confidence in ANC, says Ramaphosa

At the same time, Ramaphosa said the ANC would participate in the coming local government elections in October with a “great deal of enthusiasm”.

Ramaphosa said the ANC’s recent electoral wins in by-elections were an indication that a majority of South Africans still had confidence in the governing party.

This is despite continued infighting and divisions among ANC leaders over the implementation of the party’s step aside resolution.

“The ANC will participate in the forthcoming elections with a great deal of enthusiasm. We get elected to represent the people of our country.

“As you would have seen and this I say with all humility without being arrogant, the majority of our people still have confidence in the ANC,” Ramaphosa said.

He was responding to a supplementary question from National Freedom Party (NFP) MP Shaik Emam, who wanted to know whether the ANC and other political parties that received funds from companies accused of corruption would consider withdrawing from the polls in the interest of “creating a better society”.

“No, we will not, because our people want us to continue addressing their aspirations and fulfilling their dreams, which we continue doing on an ongoing basis. I’m sorry therefore to disappoint you and say we will not withdraw,” Ramaphosa said.

Last week, Ramaphosa admitted to the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture that with hindsight, the ANC would not have knowingly accepted donations from corruption-accused company Bosasa. He was testifying at the commission in his capacity as the leader of the ANC.

Ramaphosa told MPs voters had confidence in the ANC because they could see the party was addressing its past mistakes.

“Those people can see what is happening and they see that the ANC is in a process of renewing itself, rebuilding itself, correcting itself and demonstrating its determination to focus on the interests of our people.

“They themselves are investing confidence in the ANC.”

READ NEXT: Ramaphosa remains ‘very resolute’ to address ANC corruption, says Pandor