Opposition need to up their game to outfox Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The ascendancy of Cyril Ramaphosa to the highest position in the land has created serious frustrations to the opposition.

While the opposition pretended that they wanted former president Jacob Zuma gone as early on as his first year of his two terms, the truth is now written on the wall that he was their gift for gimmicks.

Not many South Africans would ever have thought that the president of Cope, Mosiuoa Lekota, could allege that the incumbent Ramaphosa sold out his comrades during apartheid.

Lekota did what a frustrated politician who is also an MP could do to use the powers and privilege bestowed on them to speak freely without fear of arrest for what they say in the National Assembly.

It had been quite some time that Cope had earned a mention in the media so Lekota used baseless allegation to dominate the headlines, knowing there wouldn't be any repercussions for what he said in parliament.

Interestingly, even the EFF is now demanding the establishment of a commission of inquiry into Lekota's allegations, to waste public money and for political posturing.

Without defending Ramaphosa, I find it weird to believe that he would have sold out Lekota and his co-accused over the same issue he was detained for over six months.

It's odd that Lekota would sit on such a significant issue for so many years if indeed there is truth in it.

It is also odd why Lekota lobbied Ramaphosa to be the secretary-general of the ANC against Alfred Nzo if he was a sellout as he now wants the public to believe.

The video circulating on social media showing EFF MP Marshall Dlamini assaulting a policeman after the State of Nation Address displays the frustration of EFF MPs, including its leader Julius Malema, over Ramaphosa's form in his Sona.

Ramaphosa's speech touched all critical issues that could turn around the country's economy.

The president also outlined his plan for unemployment, land, education and other issues the EFF had claimed as its rallying cry.

How could, for example, implementing the rollout of tablets to schools, which Gauteng has been doing for about three years, be seen among the EFF's key points in the party's election manifesto?

How could the expropriation of land without compensation, something that parliament has agreed to implement, be an act of plagiarism?

The unbundling of Eskom into three components proposed by the president has demonstrated his admission that things are not right at the power utility and this is the time where the opposition and members of society should make their voices heard.

The time to blame former president Zuma for all the setbacks SA experienced during his tenure should be allowed to pass.

Opposition parties should realign their approach when dealing with a think tank such as Ramaphosa.

The best method to outsmart him is be ahead of him in offering alternative policies to take SA forward.

It was easier for the opposition to bring down Zuma because the former president was a power-monger who was alien to the rule of law.

With the fourth industrial revolution on the cards, South Africans have a thirst to know how ready our country is to compete with the world. So, being petty when facing Ramaphosa won't help any opposition.

- Rofhiwa is a Sowetan reader and political commentator.

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