We are not sponsored, say ANC members who want Ramaphosa disciplined

They say CR17 controversy is an ANC matter that cannot be decided on by courts

04 October 2021 - 16:38
Some ANC members insist that President Cyril Ramaphosa be called before the party's disciplinary committee for the way he funded his CR17 campaign. File photo.
Some ANC members insist that President Cyril Ramaphosa be called before the party's disciplinary committee for the way he funded his CR17 campaign. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

A group of eight ANC members who are calling for party president Cyril Ramaphosa to be disciplined over his controversial CR17 campaign funding have denied being paid for taking this stance.

The eight — supporters of former president Jacob Zuma and suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule, and led by Onica Maphisa — have denied that they are funded as part of a fightback strategy by the radical economic transformation (RET) faction to frustrate Ramaphosa.

On Monday, Maphisa and others held a media briefing at the Booysens Hotel, in the south of Johannesburg, calling for the ANC national disciplinary committee (NDC) to act on Ramaphosa over the campaign funding.

The group defended Magashule, saying he was “well within his rights” when he attempted to suspend Ramaphosa — a decision which has been nullified by the Johannesburg high court. That nullification is meaningless, insists Maphisa, as the CR17 matter was an ANC internal issue that needs no court to pronounce on. 

It was for this reason that they want Ramaphosa to be subjected to disciplinary action by the party for mobilising funds to contest internal leadership party battles at the 2017 Nasrec national elective conference.

This, they said, was in contravention of rule 25, which, they claim, prohibits the use of money to contest party positions.

These demands are innocent and without a hidden third hand, they insist.

“We are acting independently as members of the ANC in good standing, who are paying our own memberships fees,” said Maphisa.

“We are not aligned to anybody. It would be disingenuous to affiliate this to any person that is assumed to be disgruntled because I do not think that the stepping aside of the SG would be equated to him being disgruntled. So there is nobody that is sponsoring us.”

The court had no right to pronounce on the CR17 matter, they overreached. They should have said, take it back to the ANC and deal with it.
Onica Maphisa

The group lodged a complaint with the office of the secretary-general, now headed by Jessie Duarte, on August 18.

They said Ramaphosa must step aside while the NDC does its work, and that he should return to his position once — and if — is cleared.

That Ramaphosa has been cleared by the courts in two separate cases, including the apex court on the matter of the public protector report, was of no effect, Maphisa contended.

“The courts do not have jurisdiction over the constitution of an organisation. Our [ANC] constitution cannot be defined by a court of law because it was not drafted in a court of law,” she charged.

“So it is very wrong that a court would want to define what our constitution as the ANC says and what it stands for or does not stand for. 

“The court had no right to pronounce on the CR17 matter, they overreached. They should have said, take it back to the ANC and deal with it within the confines of the ANC and apply the rules according to how the constitution of the ANC dictates they should be applied.”

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