Ramaphosa non-scandal: Work of smear merchants – COSATU

Federation says this matter is between him and his family

COSATU statement on the ANC Deputy President Cde Cyril Ramaphosa’s nonscandal

4 September 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the reports of a supposed sex scandal surrounding ANC Deputy President Cde Cyril Ramaphosa. We have also noted his response and explanation and have concluded that this matter is between him and his family.

We concur with those who argue that the conduct and behaviour of those who hold public positions should always be exemplary. But we refuse to be moral police, who monitor and police people’s personal lives and bedroom activities.

It is up to the deputy president to pacify those who believe in the concept of repressive morality and prescribe to the principle of self-restraint ,if he deems it necessary.  As COSATU; we never said that we support him because of his puritanical qualities. We took the decision to support him guided by the following criteria:

- Commitment to the radical NDR and thorough-going transformation

- Proven commitment to the Alliance

- Commitment to the fight against corruption

- Commitment to the unity of the ANC and the democratic movement

- Commitment to make this decade truly a decade of workers and the poor

- Commitment to defending and preserving the anti imperialist and internationalist character of the ANC.

- Rooted in or with a background in working class movement

The federation agrees with Deputy President Cde Cyril Ramaphosa though that this nonscandal is the work of smear merchants, who are using state resources to tarnish his name and reputation. 

In the run up to the 52nd ANC Conference held in 2007, workers under the leadership of COSATU, were fully behind Comrade Jacob Zuma to take over as the president of both the ANC and the country. Workers supported him because at the time they were dealing with an intolerant, indifferent and sometimes detached leadership that was starting to use undemocratic tactics to deal with political dissent and those viewed as opponents. 

Unfortunately, in our assessment of the current political situation, we are witnessing the  re- emergence of those past undemocratic practices ,which were previously used in the run-up to the ANC 52nd Polokwane Conference , in particular the use of state institutions in factional battles.

We expect that there will be more of this sleaze mongering by those who are desperate and afraid of the inevitable change.  We reject the phony outrage expressed by some factionalists who are posing as righteous people in order to attack the Deputy President.

We have no qualms about elected public representatives being held accountable and treated with a little dose of cynicism and healthy contempt but we are not going to police their private lives and peek into their bedrooms.

The silly attempts to use this non-issue to send Deputy President to political exile will fail and the whole thing reeks of the worst elements of political correctness. We will not dismiss an entire person as rotten on the grounds of one component we don't like or disagree with. COSATU remains fully behind Cde Ramaphosa’s campaign to be the next president of the ANC.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 4 September 2017