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Cyril Ramaphosa dares ANC plotters to come out into open

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 13th Cosatu national congress in Midrand.
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 13th Cosatu national congress in Midrand.
Image: THULANI MBELE

President Cyril Ramaphosa set the tone ahead of a crucial ANC meeting on Monday night by demanding that those said to be plotting against him within the party be exposed.

Speaking publicly for the first time at the opening day of labour federation Cosatu's 13th national congress which commenced in Midrand on Monday, Ramaphosa warned his political opponents that they would not succeed in their mission to remove him.

"We should not spend time on counter-revolutionary imaginations of weakening this African National Congress either in dark corners or wherever. that must come to an end," he said.

Ramaphosa's remarks came just hours before the ANC's national working committee grilled party secretary-general Ace Magashule about his "secret meeting" with former president Jacob Zuma and several other ANC personalities in Durban two weeks ago.

The Sunday Times reported that the group had met with Zuma to plot a way to remove Ramaphosa as ANC president through challenging the outcomes of last year's ANC national conference. It published a picture showing Zuma, Ma-gashule, axed North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, and ANC Women's League secretary-general Meokgo Matuba at Durban's Maharani Hotel.

But after pressure mounted on Magashule to explain the meeting, he then contradicted himself after initially denying he met Zuma when he was confronted by a journalist at the hotel. A few days later, he changed his tune and said he only had a one-on-one with Zuma, adding that the agenda of the meeting was to discuss "organisational matters" he could not elaborate on. Magashule was due to appear before the NWC at 6pm on Monday.

"If there's going to be any plot. it must be a plot to defeat poverty, that is the type of plot that we want," Ramaphosa said. "We can't go into elections with a divided leadership . Those that get into action that seeks to divide our people, must be exposed so that we know them," he said while Magashule was seated a few metres away from him.

Ramaphosa dared those who intend dividing the ANC to come out and tell the public what their main purpose was.

Ramaphosa got a standing ovation after his speech but Magashule and ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte hesitated to stand up, and only did so when photographers turned towards them.

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