‘We’re not electing a pope’ - Cosatu, ANC chief whip back Ramaphosa

04 September 2017 - 14:35 By Nico Gous
Jackson Mthembu
Jackson Mthembu

Cosatu is not concerned about Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s alleged extra-marital affairs‚ because the ANC is not “electing a pope” in December‚ the trade union federation’s spokesperson‚ Sizwe Pamla said on Monday.

“We don’t live in a Christian conservative society. Some people have hedonistic tendencies‚” Pamla said.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu expressed similar sentiments‚ saying if they wanted to elect a “saint” as the ANC president‚ they would have “gone to [the] Vatican and got the Pope”.

Pamla said they supported President Jacob Zuma at the 52nd ANC National Conference in Polokwane despite his polygamous marriages.

Pamla was responding to an article in the Sunday Independent. The newspaper said it is in possession of emails that allegedly showed Ramaphosa had extra-marital affairs with eight women.

Ramaphosa admitted he had a relationship with a Limpopo doctor eight years ago‚ but broke it off and informed his wife about the affair.

Pamla considers Ramaphosa’s alleged affairs a personal matter between Ramaphosa and his family.

“He has apologised and we are in no position to judge.”

Pamla considers the article a “smear” and believes “political carcasses” will pile up in the leadership race leading up to the 54th ANC National Conference in December.

Zuma is supporting his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be the next ANC president.

Pamla believes state institutions were used in the “smear” against Ramaphosa and compared the current “dirty politics” to the lead up to the 2007 ANC National Conference in Polokwane. “If we fail to push back now and they succeed‚ it will be a triumph for those with nefarious tendencies.”

Mthembu said the timing of the “smear campaign” was meant to stop Ramaphosa’s nomination as the next ANC leader.

“Why would people use sleaze and dirt to influence the branches of the ANC to act in a particular way?”

Mthembu believes politicians have become “cannibals”.

“We want to eat each other alive.”