Former South African president Thabo Mbeki

Mbeki is turning up heat on Ramaphosa

FORMER South African president Thabo Mbeki says the ANC has to decide what must happen if a parliamentary process finds that President Cyril Ramaphosa has a case to answer regarding the Phala Phala saga.

According to Mbeki, the ANC’s top leaders should meet to discuss whether or not Ramaphosa should step aside if the independent panel investigating the Phala Phala saga finds that he has a prima facie case to answer. The panel began its work on Wednesday.

In a brutally frank address at the annual general meeting of the Strategic Dialogue Group (SDG) on Saturday, the former president said the ANC had to consider what type of leaders it wanted to elect at its December conference.

He said the ANC was being led by criminals. “When you talk renewal of the ANC, you’re carrying too much baggage of wrong people. You have to have the courage to face that you have a renewed ANC led by criminals,” he said.

Mbeki said the ANC had to refl ect on the accusations hanging over Ramaphosa’s head. Mbeki noted: “Our president is under a lot of pressure. I am talking about President Ramaphosa… around this matter of Phala Phala farm.

“There are criminal investigations going on. Parliament has its own processes. The Reserve Bank has done what it wants to do… What relevance does that all have to the leadership of the ANC that will come out of Nasrec at the end of the year, or is it entirely irrelevant?”

He said the independent panel, chaired by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, was tasked with advising the National Assembly on whether Ramaphosa had a case to answer. “As comrades know, they have been given 30 days to do that.

The 30 days will run out sometime in the month of November. What happens if they say he has got a case to answer? What do we do?” Mbeki asked. He said the ANC could not shy away from the inevitable conversation around Ramaphosa’s fate.

“The leadership of the ANC cannot avoid meeting to discuss that in the light of that, what do we do. Do we say to the president he must step aside, or do we say let it continue through the parliamentary process?

What is the impact of that in the public mind?” Mbeki asked. National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appointed the Section 89 inquiry panel following a motion by ATM leader Vuyolwethu Zungula for Ramaphosa’s removal on the grounds of “a serious violation of the Constitution or the law and serious misconduct”. — news24

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