'President not having sleepless nights'

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Esa Alexander

The ANC presidency has come out guns blazing, saying President Cyril Ramaphosa will not be removed at the party's national general council (NGC) next July. He will, contrary to his detractors' wishes, finish his term.

In an interview with Sunday World on Friday, ANC presidency head Sibongile Besani said Ramaphosa is not having sleepless nights about his future, but is instead in full charge of the ruling party and the country.

Besani, a former ANC secretary in the Free State - where he served with ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule - also moved to slam views by the president's detractors in the party that he is not implementing the organisation's radical resolutions adopted at its Nasrec conference in 2017.

"We are confident that President Ramaphosa will finish his term. Remember the NGC has got a different mandate altogether," said Besani.

"It is a mid-term, we are assessing. At that NGC people are going to be saying 'here are our resolutions, what did you do'?"

Ramaphosa has been criticised for trying to appease his opponents in the party by striking some balance when he assembled his cabinet, bringing on board some ministers seen to be close to Magashule and former President Jacob Zuma - some of whom are implicated in state capture.

The president won the race for the ANC presidency against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma by 179 votes.

Besani said it was unfortunate that Ramaphosa's efforts to unite the party made some in the party to view him as weak.

Ramaphosa has also come under fire amid revelations on the hundreds of millions of rand donated to his CR17 campaign, which was funded by some of the country's powerful families known to be opposed to land expropriation without compensation and the nationalisation of the SA Reserve Bank.

But Besani moved to dispel the notion by some supporters of Magashule that he is not implementing ANC Nasrec resolutions, pointing to the parliamentary process on land and the recently tabled National Health Insurance Fund bill as examples.

"He appreciates the fact that these things [information on the CR17 funding] have gone public and he is dealing with them in the manner that assures South Africans that if transparency has to take place, it has to take place legally," he said, adding that they believed information on his funders and communication among his campaigners was obtained illegally.