President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken an indirect swipe at ANC secretary general Ace Magashule and other party leaders accused of being involved in a plot to unseat him.
Speaking at the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) 13th national congress on Monday, Ramaphosa accused those who “meet in dark corners” and plot to divide the ANC of being counter-revolutionaries.
“Those who want to divide the ANC, what agenda are they serving? Because coming out of Nasrec, we all held one agenda of unity, renewal, jobs and transforming our economy. So if you are going to divide the ANC tell us what your agenda is,” Ramaphosa said.
“Comrades this is a call for unity. And those who are engaging in acts to disunite our people and divide our people must be exposed,” he added.
Ramaphosa’s comments were met with loud cheers by Cosatu delegates who chanted “Aaacccee” as a signal to Magashule to take heed of the president’s remarks.
Magashule, along with former president Jacob Zuma and former North West premier and ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, has been accused of holding a secret meeting in Durban two weeks ago to discuss an alleged plot to unseat Ramaphosa.
While Magashule had reportedly denied being at the meeting, he told the Mail & Guardian last week that he had not denied meeting Zuma, but had not done so to discuss any plot against Ramaphosa.
He also claimed to have had no knowledge that Mahumapelo and other leaders such as ANC Women’s League secretary general Meokgo Matuba would be there.
The meeting between Magashule and other ANC leaders is expected to be discussed at a meeting of the party’s national working committee (NWC) this week and at the next sitting of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) later this month.
Ramaphosa urged all members of the ANC-led alliance to focus on next year’s elections and not allow themselves to be side-tracked by rogue elements within the movement.
“Next year we are going to face one of the most challenging elections. We cannot go to those elections divided. If there are any moves to divide the membership of the ANC that is counter-revolutionary. Just imagine we are going to a war and then we start fighting each other. What type of army are we?” Ramaphosa said.
Ramphosa called on Cosatu to join the ANC in finding solutions to the challenge of corruption. Praising the work done by the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, he said consequence management would have to be strengthened to ensure those who had been part of the state capture project were brought to book.
“We need to be clear about accountability and consequence management. Those who are found to have stolen public resources meant for the poor of our country must be prosecuted and the stolen finds must be returned,” he said.