Ramaphosa must step aside like me – Magashule

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says the president needs to step aside. File picture
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule says the president needs to step aside. File picture

Standing outside of the ANC national conference venue, suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule said President Cyril Ramaphosa should step aside, claiming he too is a criminally charged person. 

"The president has been charged criminally, he must step aside like me," Magashule said to cheers from a handful of supporters gathered outside the gates of Nasrec.

Magashule was referring to a supposed private prosecution announced by the Jacob Zuma Foundation, in which the former president claims to be prosecuting Ramaphosa along with state prosecutor Billy Downer. 

Ramaphosa has rejected the move, saying it was an abuse of the legal system and that the summons delivered to Ramaphosa was "hopelessly substandard". 

Ramaphosa's office also said Zuma had no certificate from the National Prosecuting Authority to charge Ramaphosa.

Politically, the said private prosecution is also seen as a move to force Ramaphosa to step aside in line with ANC policy. 

Meanwhile in what could be perceived as a sign of defiance, Magashule was joined by tourism minister and ANC national executive committee member Lindiwe Sisulu as well as Carl Niehaus who was expelled from the party earlier this week.

Magashule said the current NEC, led by national chairperson Gwede Mantashe, stifled the views of those opposed to Ramaphosa by not openly debating matters.

Magashule praised ANC MPs who had defied the party in parliament earlier this week when they supported the vote to set up an impeachment committee following the release of the report of the section 89 committee into Phala Phala.

The report said Ramaphosa had a case to answer on the Phala Phala matter. 

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma voted against the party line and supported the motion.

Magashule also questioned Ramaphosa's political credentials, saying they had "fetched" him and made him deputy president in 2012.

"We're losing municipalities, by-elections, our people have no water, our people don't have food because the ANC is captured. I'm happy comrade Lindiwe Sisulu, comrade Nkosazana... these are people with revolutionary Struggle credentials not Johnny-come-lately. They did not join the ANC when it was in fashion after 1994, when the ANC was unbanned or join organisations which were formed by white monopoly capital," he said.

"Our biggest blunder was bringing this man and making him deputy president when he was rejected by Cosatu and the SACP. We made that blunder in history, so we're sorry. We apologise.

“We fetched Ramaphosa from the cooperate space and landed him the deputy presidency back in 2012.

“It was myself and a group of other leaders that went and convinced Ramaphosa to be deputy president because we were never interested in positions," Magashule said.

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