Cyril Ramaphosa shows his hand, hits out at corruption and state capture

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Simphiwe Nkwali
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Simphiwe Nkwali

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out against state institutions being captured by families and individuals for narrow self-enrichment.

"We will not allow the formations of the democratic movement, our symbols, our history or our policies to be appropriated in pursuit of factional interests or in attempts to hoodwink the public through revolutionary-sounding slogans," Ramaphosa said.

He was delivering the keynote address at the Black Business Council (BBC) economic recovery dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, last night

"We will not compromise in our fight against corruption, patronage and rent-seeking," he warned.

His comments can be interpreted as a reference to the Guptas who are President Jacob Zuma's close friends and have been accused of undue influence on the government.

Ramaphosa acknowledged that the country's political life was fractious with public sentiment appearing to be more polarised and public discourse more charged and shriller than at any other time since 1994.

"There is discord within the democratic movement itself, with different formations adopting opposing positions on key issues of the day," he said.

"We must be honest enough to admit the depth of the political, economic and social challenges our country faces. And we must be courageous enough to recognise the domestic and global conditions that give rise to these challenges."

Ramaphosa, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and party treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize have criticised Zuma publicly following his controversial cabinet reshuffle.

Ramaphosa came out in defence of the radical economic transformation, saying there was nothing abstract about it.

"Even as some people may want to deploy the concept to pursue selfish personal objectives or simply to cast aspersions on the revolutionary credentials of others, radical economic transformation has substance and meaning and relevance," Ramaphosa said.

"It is about giving effect to the demand of the Freedom Charter that the people shall share in the country's wealth."

The ANC's policy conference in June will discuss priorities to transform the economy, create employment and advance inclusive growth.

BBC president Danisa Baloyi said radical economic transformation can kick start the South African economy.