Cyril Ramaphosa owes Zuma a public apology

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Phatse Justice Piitso

pondered many questions about the timing of the stunning revelation by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that he believes President Jacob Zuma raped the late Cde Khwezi. These allegations are very serious, all the more that they come from the second most powerful politician in the country. 

Comrade Cyril vented these opportunistic opinions nowithstanding the fact that Zuma was acquitted of the rape charges by a court of law more than ten years ago. What is more astonishing is that at the height of the trial and when it was concluded, Ramaphosa conveniently never expressed his opinion in the public domain

One can only come to the conclusion that at the end of the trial, the allegations that he expressed now did not serve his purpose, because then it was in his interest to become deputy president to Zuma. However, now he is campaigning for the Presidency of the ANC, and it is opportunistically in his interest to denigrate the persona of President Zuma. 

Desperation to ascend to the highest office at all costs seems to be the only logical explanation as to why he is throwing any semblance of decency and honesty out the window. The long journey to the Union buildings has become rough for him, and as the numbers do not want to translate into victory, he is now prepared to descend to the level of gutter politics in order to try and win at all costs. 

It is obvious that because Ramaphosa is a contender for the presidency of the ANC, every word he utters is loaded with that intention, and cannot he considered to be innocent. As the ANC National Elective Conference draws closer by the day, desperation is looming and everything is thrown into the campaign – even the worst opportunism and dirt – in order to garner more support.

When Cde Khwezi needed his support, the deputy president was conspicuous in his silence and absence. She passed on without hearing him say that he believed her allegations

It is critical to question whDeputy President Ramaphosa is speaking to. The answer is that he is entangling himself increasingly with the interest of White Monopoly Capital who we know find President Zuma anathema because of his commitment to the implementation of radical economic transformation. 

Thus, he is now suddenly having his Damascus moment, with his conscience rising from slumber. At the root of his newly found conscience is the continuation of the narrative of defining himself away from the president. 

It is in this opportunistic context that he now out the blue believes that Khwezi was raped by the President and now suddenly has bountiful sympathy for her and abused women. This is nothing else but comrade Cyril desperately running his late race realising that the numbers he needs for victory is fast slipping out of his grasp. 

To my mind this resurrection of convenient and expedient conscience disqualifies Ramaphosa from the highest office in the ANCwhich leads to the presidency of the country. The truth is that he has proven himself to be not honest and in fact dishonorable

Increasingly it is becoming evident that comrade Cyril has no backbone and lacks the conviction of his beliefs – if he in fact has any. There seems to be a gaping hole in his character with ethical morality being entirely absent.

One is convinced that he is not honest and honourable because his sympathies have been overtaken by the expediencies of time. As Mzwakhe Mbuli captures it in one of his poetic renditions, now is the time to give me roses, not to keep them for my grave to come. 

Thus the expression of sympathy for Khwezi that he made during the Radio 702 town hall interview should have come forth long ago by him having expressed support for her when she was alive and needed it the most. Now with this opportunistic faux pas he has just buried whatever sense of credibility he may still have had as a leader and presidential hopeful.

Comrade Cyrils pronouncements about Khwezi fly in the face of him being the poster boy of our democratic constitution who respects and upholds the rule of law. Instead he has just demonstrated that he is a chameleon who adopts the colours of his shifting environment. 

For him court judgements are fine and good only when they are fit for him and suit his objectivesOne is left with the unsettling revelation that he is prepared to sell the values of the very same constitution to the highest bidder. 

Instead of such opportunism the ANC and the country by extension need a leader with the courage of his/her convictions. A leader who will not bow to pressure in the pursuit of his apparently insatiable hunger for power. 

I am convinced that in the light of what Ramaphosa has put the country through with his remarks about Khwezi, delegates will have to look elsewhere for a president. They do not need to look far, because we have a mother with the unparalleled robust character of a true leader in Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. 

Her revolutionary morality and unquestionable ethics define a leader that every society needs. A leader who will always stand up for what is true and say it out bold and loud.

Our revolution needs a leader who is not vulnerable and susceptible to the whims and fancies of personal power, but always places the ANC first. A leader who will not bow to personal ambitions at the expense of the good of the country in general. 

The honourable way out is for comrade Ramaphosa to apologise to the president and the country. This is the only way for him to earn the respect of the majority of the people of our country. However, I am not holding my breath that he will do so, I fear that his unbridled hunger for power will firmly get in the way of him expressing any semblance of moral conscience. 

*Phatse Justice Piitso is the former Ambassador to the republic of Cuba and the former provincial secretary of the SACP writing this article on his personal capacity.