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Ramaphosa detractors baying for blood

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ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has faced strong calls this weekend from the NEC to step down from his position in the party.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture: EPA-EFE, Stringer

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is to be hauled before the ANC’s Integrity Commission after he agreed on Saturday to be subjected to its scrutiny over funding he received for his successful CR17 presidential campaign in 2017.

This follows calls by ANC members at the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting. MP Bongani Bongo led the charge.

Ramaphosa has faced strong calls this weekend from the NEC to step down from his position in the party.

The fight at the NEC was about the CR17 campaign that resulted in Ramaphosa clinching the party’s top job.

The campaign has been the subject of court processes where calls have been made for him to unseal the records which detailed the funders of the campaign.

Senior NEC member Tony Yengeni had the first go in calling for Ramaphosa to step down at a National Working Committee meeting, before other NEC members stepped up calls for him to go.

On Saturday, the chorus of naysayers in the NEC, baying for Ramaphosa’s blood, grew in number.

Another NEC member, Nomvula Mokonyane, said Ramaphosa’s utterances that all ANC members were criminals was like spitting in their faces.

Therefore, he must be removed from the party’s top leadership position.

She said removing Ramaphosa was not enough as he had tarnished the image of the party.

Initially, seven NEC members had supported the call made by Yengeni for Ramaphosa’s head.

But after Mokonyane spoke there were up to 20 NEC members who backed the call.

Earlier, ANC regional leader in Ekurhuleni and mayor Mzwandile Masina staged a lone protest outside St George’s Hotel and Conference Centre in Irene, Pretoria, the venue of the NEC meeting.

Masina told the media that he did not know the reasons behind Yengeni’s call for Ramaphosa to step aside.

“I am sure the leadership would come and explain to us through a statement, and we would take it from there because there should be reasons why he opted to ask the president to step aside.

“I am sharing the sentiments about the (ANC 54th conference) resolutions that everyone who’s got a matter before the court must step aside.”

When asked if Ramaphosa should not step aside since he has a matter with the public protector that is before the court regarding the CR17 donors, Masina said: “If there is a matter that is before the court that involves the president, the president must step aside.”

He tweeted: “As the top leadership of the @MYANC convenes, I urge them to emerge with concrete actions to tackle corruption. Heads must roll! No more excuses!”

uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veteran Association entered the fray and called for Ramaphosa to resign on Saturday.

Earlier, Bongo asked Ramaphosa if he and his family did business with the state.

The NEC’s sitting was also dominated by discussion on the letter penned by former president Jacob Zuma in which he questioned Ramaphosa’s leadership.

This followed another open letter written by Ramaphosa last Sunday to ANC members against corruption.

Ramaphosa said the party was “Accused number 1” and it should hang its head in shame over the widespread corruption including the looting of Covid-19 relief funds.