“Cyril Ramaphosa is our president and we must not apologise when he is under attack when we defend him.”
This is according to the head of elections at the African National Congress (ANC) Fikile Mbalula.
Speaking during the party’s Letsema campaign in Kimberly on Saturday, Mbalula said when people attack Ramaphosa as leader of the ANC, they are destroying the party.
“We defended Nelson Mandela, we defended Thabo Mbeki, we defended Jacob Zuma and we will defend Matamela as our president and if you branches say he must continue, there is nothing wrong because all of them got their second terms.
“We know our problem and our problem was Covid and Matamela led this Government in defence of our people when they were under attack from Covid…Matamela is leading the charge in building this economy and he is not working alone but with a collective,” said Mbalula.
Ramaphosa has been under tremendous pressure in recent times with some calling for his removal over the robbery incident which happened at his Phala Phala farm in 2020.
As if that’s enough, the ongoing and prolonged power outages as a result of load shedding are also not helping Ramaphosa, who has been appearing unfazed by calls for his resignation, saying the country’s electricity crisis will not be solved overnight and that load shedding will still be with us.
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Commenting on the ANC’s much anticipated national elective conference in December, Mbalula said there was nothing wrong with people raising their hands, wanting to stand for leadership positions but stressed that it is the will of the branches that will prevail.
“We are here with the president leading the Letsema campaign which is a campaign of the ANC and others say we are campaigning, no the president has the right to campaign and do anything as a president of the ANC and he cannot go around as CR22, he is our president, he is loved by our people,” Mbalula said.
The ANC came under fire during the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) last week when party chairperson Gwede Mantashe was booed off stage and not allowed to speak.
Delegates tore into the ANC-led government saying they were not treated as alliance partners.
There were also talks about whether or not it was time for the alliance comprising of Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP) led by the ANC to split.
However, Ramaphosa said the alliance must stand firm saying they will not allow the alliance to split.
“The alliance is going to grow strong and we will not allow it to fade in history…in fact without the alliance, this country will be in trouble,” said Ramaphosa.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa is expected to participate in a Branch General Meeting (BGM) in Chiawelo, Soweto on Sunday for the upcoming elective conference.