Ramaphosa must defend NDZ – RET Gauteng

Zuma support group says Minister is under attack for simply having carried out her duties

The Gauteng RET President Zuma Support Group urges President Cyril Ramaphosa to defend Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and calls for unity in the ANC

5 May 2020

The Gauteng RET President Zuma Support Group is appalled by the persistent patriarchal and sexist attacks that are being directed at Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma is under attack for simply having carried out her duties as the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) who, in terms of the Disaster Management Act of 2020, has the responsibility to coordinate our country's national disaster mitigation efforts. The fact that these attacks by the cigarette and tobacco industry, because she announced the collective decision of the National Corona Virus Command Council (NCVCC) that the ban of the sale of cigarettes and tobacco related products is upheld, are framed in the most vile sexist and mysoginist language is deplorable, and must be condemned without any reservation.

The Gauteng RET President Zuma Support Group concurs with the outrage expressed by the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) about such sexist abuse, which is a disturbing indication of how deeply rooted sexism and patriarchy are still in our South African society.

We also agree with the statement that the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) issued yesteday, on Monday the 4th of May, that the attacks on Dr. Dlamini Zuma are intended to undermine the capability of Cabinet and the NCVCC to effectively function as a collective, with as the ultimate target to undermine unity in the African National Congress (ANC).

With this understanding in mind, we urge our Cabinet and the NCVCC to act with integrity and courage, and to publicly accept their collective responsibility for the decisions that they have taken

and which Dr. Dlamini Zuma announced on their behalf. Silence, or even a muted response, in the face of the terrible personal attacks on Dr. Dlamini Zuma, and the obvious attempts to drive wedges between our senior ANC leaders, is certainly not an option. This is particularly true for our President, comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, who chairs both Cabinet and the NCVCC.

The fake narrative that is being peddled by British American Tobacco SA (BAT-SA), and their fellow White Monopoly Capitalists (WMC), as they try to to isolate and target Dr. Dlamini Zuma, is that she undermined the authority of the President. Nothing can be further from the truth!

However, unfortunately what is sadly beginning to undermine the authority and integrity of our President, is his silence up to now, and his failure to condemn the malicious sexist and racist attacks on Dr. Dlamini Zuma.

We are in the midst of one of the most serious challenges - if not the most serious - that our young nation ever faced. We need our President, who leads our collective national effort to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, to defend his colleagues as their Commander in Chief in this struggle for the survival of our nation, and at all times to act with courage,integrity and conviction. The eyes of our nation is on comrade President Ramaphosa, and as his fellow ANC comrades we plead with him not fail us, nor himself, with regards to the serious challenge that this situation poses.

In doing so we join MKMVA and the ANCWL, as they have done in their respective statements, in applauding the excellent work done by Cabinet and the NCVCC, under the leadership of President Ramaphosa, to protect our nation from the spread of the the COVID19 virus, and to flatten the curve of infection.

We are confident that this excellent work will and must continue, but this is obviously dependant on all of us closing ranks, defending each other and the unity of the ANC. We must resist the malicious efforts of White Monopoly Capitalists (WMC) who are determined to try and divide us in their callous pursuit of profit at the cost of the safety of our nation, and the very lives of our people.

The coronavirus pandemic, and the resultant lockdown, has further highlighted, and intensified, the terrible inequalities in our country. More than ever before the majority of poor black (especially African) South Africans are faced with a life and death struggle just to get food and shelter.

The current crisis confronts us with the inescapable fact that, once we have overcome the coronavirus pandemic, we will have to restructure our society fundamentally differently. It can never again be "business as usual". We will need to rebuild, and in the process radically restructure, our economy to empower the majority of black poor, in order to become an equal, and truly just, society. Principled unity, imbued by our collective determination to succeed, will be of paramount importance.

Issued by Carl Niehaus on behalf of the Gauteng RET President Zuma Support Group, 5 May 2020