Leaders of the party in Limpopo say there is a plot among VBS-implicated looters to see the president removed before the end of his term, but they have vowed to make sure it does not succeed.
A faction within the Limpopo ANC, is allegedly leading a campaign to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa before his term lapses, leading Ramaphosa’s political backers in the province to square up, saying those who want to remove him must bring (the fight) it on.
Ramaphosa was born in Chiawelo, Soweto but his ancestral roots are allegedly in Madombidzha village in Venda, Limpopo. It became clear over the weekend that the ANC in his ancestral province is just as divided over his leadership as the rest of the country, after last week’s revelation by Limpopo ANC provincial secretary, Soviet Lekganyane that Ramaphosa’s political foes were hard at work plotting his axing.
The Citizen understands those who wanted Ramaphosa to resign are party bigwigs, who were against the suspension of those implicated in the looting and collapsing of the VBS Mutual Bank.
“We are aware that there is an attempt to launch a fightback by some members in the province, to remove President Ramaphosa. We cannot hide that because the writing is already on the wall. But we want to assure all those planning for his downfall that their plan will not walk. We will fight to the bitter end to ensure it is doomed before it even hits the ground,” said Lekganyane.
During a memorial service of ANC and Umkhonto Wesizwe veteran, Mbulaheni David Malada in Makonde, Lekganyane pleaded with ANC leaders to lead by example. Malada was laid to rest on Saturday in a special category two provincial funeral.
Lekganyane said it was important for leaders to remember that they were elected not to lead themselves, but the electorate and the general public. “If we want to honour comrade Malada the right way, we must all work together to restore the party’s image and integrity because this comrade was loyal and a true son of the revolution,” he said.
Lekganyane’s words were echoed by the chairperson of the biggest branch of the ANC in the Norman Mashabane region, Masilu “King Solomon” Maloko of the Phusela branch in Tzaneen.
“Ramaphosa is our president. We have given him a five-year term and no one, even those Judas Iscariots can remove him. He is in pole position and he will lead until he finishes his term,” said Maloko. Maloko said those harbouring ambitions to dethrone Ramaphosa were those with blood in their hands.
“We are talking about those who stole millions in PPE contracts, who looted the VBS Mutual Bank, those awarding government lucrative tenders to their political juntas, children, brothers and sisters, and those who were parachuted to positions of higher responsibilities without relevant qualifications. But to some of us who never stole from the poor, we say Ramaphosa is a rare political breed who is entrusted by the people of this country to lead us to greener pastures, free from corruption,” explained Maloko.
But Lekganyane’s statement was not supported by all in the ANC. His known critic, chairperson for the Peter Mokaba region of the ANC, John Mpe said there was no such a plot hatched to remove Ramaphosa.
“Our leaders must be careful of what they say in public. They must always refrain from using the name of our president to garner support from those who have started to doubt them. I for one have a problem when an ANC provincial leader mentions the name of our president in the same sentence with the word factions.
“Ramaphosa was elected by the branches of the ANC with the sole aim of leading the party and the government for five years. He, therefore cannot be removed before his work is assessed, maybe during the party’s national general council (NGC) or during the next party elective conference. I can assure you, if anyone tries to call for his axing, that person will not get my vote or that of my region,” said Mpe.
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