Over the weekend, the debate around who has supposedly been a spy for whom continued, following allegations and rumours about the history of both the president and the EFF.
On Thursday, in response to allegations made against him on Wednesday by Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota, President Cyril Ramaphosa denied the charge emphatically, saying he had never sold out or informed on Lekota to apartheid police.
He instead suggested it was his neighbour who had given Lekota up, leading to Lekota being arrested and imprisoned on Robben Island, a fate that Ramaphosa himself managed to avoid.
The Economic Freedom Fighters leapt on Lekota’s allegation, calling for a commission of inquiry on Ramaphosa’s past.
Ramaphosa, in response, warned EFF leader Julius Malema Lekota against spreading untested rumours about people being apparent spies, as that would lead to serious consequences.
The president also said he would not waste money on a commission.
He further reminded Malema that similar accusations had been made against the EFF after Malema went to London a few years ago.
“Honourable Malema, you visited London a few years ago and said that [Nelson] Mandela was a sellout. And then there were reports, and those reports kept coming, and I was not even intending to raise it here, but I do so because we do need to deal with this issue because it is cancerous.”
He mentioned Britain’s foreign secret intelligence service, MI6, which is famous for being the group the fictional James Bond character works for.
“The report that came out was that the EFF was an MI6 project. I rejected that because I knew we were dealing with people of good character, that you would never go to that extent, and they keep coming with the position that one holds now. In the end you need to deal with the character of the person. I have rejected those types of statements, Malema, because I look at you and your character and your commitment to the people of this country.”
He urged MPs to refrain from making such accusations in future because they could lead to the deaths of the comrades.
“Beware of the wedge-driver. Watch his poisonous snake. I can testify I’ve never ever been a spy, I’ve never worked with the enemy. All I’ve ever done in my life is my commitment to the people of our country. That’s all,” he said.
The British spying rumour has now again been used by some of the EFF’s detractors, which evidently led EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu to respond on Sunday that the EFF’s proposed inquiry into whether “#RamaphosaSoldOut” could also cover whether there was any truth to the MI6 allegation too.
He said that if either could be proven to be true, it should lead to the end of either accused’s political life. The EFF would shut up shop and/or Ramaphosa would step down.
Very true!That's also a VERY serious allegation!
Let's have the #RamaphosaSoldOut Inquiry,expand its Terms of Reference to cover MI6 allegations/rumours introduced by Ramaphosa in Parliament
1.EFF closes down;and/or
2.Ramaphosa steps down
Fair Deal? https://t.co/n7O7e0mNVA
— Dali Mpofu (@AdvDali_Mpofu) February 16, 2019
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers. Background reporting, Vhahangwele Nemakonde)