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Second term as ANC head will build on foundation I laid, says emboldened Ramaphosa

  • Speaking out for the first time after the announcement by the ANC’s electoral committee of his commanding lead in branch nominations, Cyril Ramaphosa says he deserves a second term. 
  • He adds he spent his first term cleaning up the rot left by former president Jacob Zumas scandal-plagued administration. 
  • As such, Ramaphosa says while he had laid a solid foundation, he needs a second term to complete the clean-up job he started. 

Seemingly emboldened by the sizable lead in branch nominations he received this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally broken his silence, saying he deserves a second term because he has laid a solid foundation that needs to be built upon during a second term.

“I think what we have been doing over the past three years is to build a foundation to rebuild our country.

“When we came into office, a lot of things were damaged, a lot of things were not working as well as they should, and a number of our institutions had been captured as was evidenced in the Zondo Commission report,” said Ramaphosa. 

He made the case that during his first term, he has overseen the implementation of several reforms at socioeconomic and judicial level to undo the damage done during the height of the state capture years.

Ramaphosa was speaking to the media at the end of his two-day state visit to the UK on Thursday. 

He was, however, quick to add some of the progress in this endeavour had been hampered by the “huge challenges such as Covid-19, the unrests, and the floods [in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape]”. 

The incumbent ANC leader received a boost in his quest to retain his position after 2 037 branches nominated him, giving more than double the 916 nominations received by Zweli Mkhize, who is set to slug it out with Ramaphosa. 

READ | Ramaphosa in pole position as ANC’s electoral committee gets set to announce top six nominations

The seemingly buoyant Ramaphosa also promised while it had taken a long time for those implicated to be prosecuted, their days were numbered.  

“People have been vocal that people who have been complicit in wrongdoing during state capture, nothing has been done to them, and I have been saying wait and see, the processes are underway and now as it is beginning to happen.”

On Wednesday, a group of leaders seeking nomination into the top six, who are opposed to Ramaphosa getting a second term, described his administration as being out of touch and not deserving of another term. 

The group comprises Mkhize, Nomvula Mokonyane, Phumulo Masualle, and Mzwandile Masina. 

Despite the concerted effort to dethrone him, Ramaphosa was adamant he was still the right man for the job. 

He said the allegations of wrongdoing threatening to derail his campaign emanating from the Phala Phala robbery would not affect him either leading up to the looming conference or should he be elected for a second term. 

FULL SPEECH | History, trade and climate change: President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to UK leaders

“I don’t think the allegations will affect my second term, but we cannot prejudge the parliamentary inquiry underway,” added Ramaphosa.

He also took a swipe at the DA for its outcry over him leaving the country just as load shedding intensified this week after Eskom announced it had run out of diesel. 

“My visits out of the country were announced well in advance, and I have ministers whose job it is to attend to these challenges [load shedding].

“Once we have a framework in place, such as the one that we put in place to address the energy crisis, ministers, as well as the executives of those entities, are meant to address the issue. I remain in constant contact with them,” said Ramaphosa. 

He added “as much as I want to be present in the country to address the challenges that we have, there are times where we have also got to get those who are supposed to do the work to do the work themselves”.

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