‘The time for playing games has ended’: Bathabile Dlamini calls on Ramaphosa to resign

Former ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini wants “compromised” President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign.

Former ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign. File photo.
Image: Masi Losi

“He must not step aside, he must resign. He has compromised himself, he has compromised the ANC and the country,” Dlamini said on Thursday.

This amid a report by an independent panel, headed by retired chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, which found Ramaphosa may have committed a serious violation of the law and significant misconduct in terms of the constitution. The president maintains his innocence.

“I am happy there are those among the judiciary who are still honest and have integrity. They have brought some of our confidence back into the judiciary because some of the things that have been happening have left the judiciary in a bad state,” Dlamini said.

“People have been forcing their decisions down our throats. The NEC was turned into a platform for rubber stamping. People would hold meetings before coming to the NEC, so there are tendencies of a cult that developed in the NEC. You go to conference and you support someone to lead the ANC, that has been the culture. But now an entire organisation has been made the property of an individual.

“There has been research that has been done that has showed the president is more popular than the ANC. And [in the NEC] we were taking decisions based on what the president was saying. We were a cult, we were no longer an organisation.

“If you disagreed or had a different view, it was disregarded and at the end of the meeting it would be as if you said nothing. So we hope that this is a wake-up call to all the members of the ANC. We hope that this is going to take us back to being the organisation of the people.”

Dlamini criticised a presidential statement after the report was made public on Thursday. It reiterated Ramaphosa’s declaration that he was innocent and said the report required “appropriate consideration in the interest of the stability of government and that of the country”.

“That statement was very arrogant because firstly, there is a threat to parliament about how he is going to affect the stability of government. Secondly, he says he is innocent when he knows he has flouted many of the country’s procedures on handling money. The time for playing games has come to an end.

“Why should we preach things we do not believe in and things we do not do? Why should we play double standards? And why should leaders agree to those double standards? There are two precedents that have been set: the issue of [suspended] public protector [Busisiwe Mkhwebane] and the issue of [Ace Magashule, suspended] secretary-general of the ANC. So why must others set standards and think that they must not apply to them?

“If you want to fight corruption honestly through the Zondo commission, you don’t make that your stage for performance. You make that commission the true organ of the people to achieve their democracy. But he set a stage for himself to perform. We have to now follow what is going to unfold.”

Asked who should replace Ramaphosa if he steps aside or resigns, she said it would be discussed by the NEC.

The committee is expected to meet on Thursday evening, with the Phala Phala report high on the agenda.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)