Why did you compare whites to frogs, Mr Ramaphosa?

Ernst Roets calls on the DP to urgently clarify his reported remarks
Letter from Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO AfriForum, to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 21 September 2017:

 21 September 2018

Dep. Pres. C. Ramaphosa

Office of the Deputy President

Private Bag X 1000



Delivery per email: [email protected]

Dear Mr Ramaphosa


It is with great concern that I took note of a comment attributed to you in the memoirs of Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who passed away in 2014.

In his memoirs, Dr Oriani-Ambrosini describes you as a “born leader”, a “straight shooter” and someone who never lied or misrepresented anything. He goes further however, referring to a discussion that he had with you during the negotiations for a new constitutional dispensation in the early 1990’s as follows:

In his brutal honesty, Ramaphosa told me of the ANC's 25-year strategy to deal with the whites: it would be like boiling a frog alive, which is done by raising the temperature very slowly. Being cold-blooded, the frog does not notice the slow temperature increase, but if the temperature is raised suddenly, the frog will jump out of the water. He meant that the black majority would pass laws transferring wealth, land, and economic power from white to black slowly and incrementally, until the whites lost all they had gained in South Africa, but without taking too much from them at any given time to cause them to rebel or fight.

This is an extremely concerning statement. I know that the ANC was firmly opposed to the protection of minority rights during these negotiations, where you acted as chief negotiator for the ANC. I also know that the ANC is firmly committed to so-called “radical economic transformation”, which is essentially a policy of redistribution, very much along the same lines as described in the above comment that is attributed to you and which you have recently reaffirmed by stating that you were also committed to this idea.

I also know that the ANC has been pushing for a so-called National Democratic Revolution (NDR) for several decades, which, according the ANC’s strategy and tactics documents, boils down to a strategy in which power over state apparatus should first be achieved, after which these state mechanisms should be used to implement socialist policies and execute a transition towards socialism.

In the light of the above-mentioned, you’re urgent clarification would be appreciated. Is the above statement an accurate reflection of your position?

Best wishes

Ernst Roets

Deputy CEO


Issued by AfriForum, 21 September 2017