Ramatlhodi lashes Zuma critics
Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Ngoako Ramatlhodi has lashed out at ANC leaders who are criticising President Jacob Zuma's leadership.
Addressing ANC members during the Oliver Tambo Memorial Lecture at the Bloemfontein City Hall on Wednesday evening, Ramatlhodi said the ruling party was not leaderless as some have claimed. He, however, acknowledged that there were problems.
"We are faced with challenges and have a leadership capable of confronting those challenges.
"Let us acknowledge the challenges and not exaggerate them by denying ourselves the opportunity to lead," he said.
Ramatlhodi said those who called Zuma a "moron and an imbecile and not an intellectual were not aware that the man operated within a collective".
"We should not be misled but must instead refuse to be characterised. This leadership will lead the ANC for a long time.
"We have a big radar and we know where we are going," Ramatlhodi added.
The deputy minister also lashed out at the Department of Education for failing to provide pupils in Limpopo with textbooks.
"Tambo believed in education and established Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania.
"The only way to equalise the nation is through education and we should be competitive here and in the world. It does not stay well with me that by 2012 we still can't deliver textbooks to Limpopo," he said.
Referring to the expulsion of former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema from the party, Ramatlhodi said "it was not the first time that people were expelled by the party, especially those who mobilise against the decisions of the party".
He said Tambo believed that people were their own liberators and that the ANC was a catalyst to their liberation.
Ramatlhodi said that at the coming elective conference in Mangaung, the ANC should "discuss how to keep the confidence of the masses because if we abandon the masses, other political parties will take advantage of that".
He praised Tambo's role in the struggle against apartheid and said he was "a fearless warrior, a titan, a democrat and a unifier".
"He was a humble guy, a good listener and a good contributor who never imposed his views. Tambo was accessible to the ANC and respected theleadership.
"He played a role in the establishment of political underground activities, the armed struggle and mass actions," Ramatlhodi said.