President Cyril Ramaphosa will never loot public funds because he is rich. This was said by National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) general-secretary Zola Saphetha, who was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the union’s policy conference in Boksburg on Friday.
Saphetha was weighing in on the union’s relationship with President Ramaphosa, Nehawu having been the first Cosatu affiliate to throw its weight behind him before the ANC’s Nasrec conference at which Ramaphosa was elected president.
He is not the first politician to make these remarks. ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe said the same thing before the conference.
Saphetha said President Ramaphosa must use his “executive powers” within the ANC and not be bullied by the governing party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule.
Should President Ramaphosa fail to do this, Saphetha said, Nehawu would have a problem with him.
“Cyril is not only the president of the ANC, but he is the president of the country and must serve the country with the respect it deserves and not prioritise ANC people,” said Saphetha.
“We are expecting the best from Cyril, nothing less. We do not expect him to loot the resources of the state because he is wealthy, he has money, and if he does so we will be disappointed.
Cyril has executive authority as the president to deal with matters in the ANC and that is what we require him to do. Cyril was proposed by us and we campaigned for him using resources of workers to make him the president of the ANC.
“So the ball is in his court. We have given him the presidency he has been dreaming about, but he must also make our dreams a reality.”
Saphetha said the union expected Ramaphosa to steer the ANC and the country in the right direction, and to do it fast.
He said should the Ramaphosa-led ANC be clutching at straws by the end of next year, Nehawu would pressure the SACP to contest the local government elections in 2021.
“Remember, there is a communist party that has taken a decision and said they have an interest to contest state power, and the SACP is the vanguard of the working class and we are the working class,” said Saphetha.
“We have confidence in the Communist Party. Should the ANC fail in what it has been mandated, we will put pressure on the SACP to start contesting the upcoming local government elections. We will not wait for the general elections.
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