'The truth is we are now emerging from the darkest days': Hanekom defends Ramaphosa

13 October 2022 - 10:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom defends President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture.
Image: Russell Roberts ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom defends President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture.

Former tourism minister and ANC stalwart Derek Hanekom has come to party president Cyril Ramaphosa's defence, suggesting Ramaphosa's critics will eat their words after December when he “starts his second term”.

This comes after ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini this week warned of the dire consequences if Ramaphosa is elected for a second term at the party’s 55th elective conference in December.   

Speaking to IOL, Dlamini said the ANC is in its darkest years and all leagues have been killed. 

“We have never experienced this. As women we disagreed with president Mandela, president Mbeki and president Zuma. Even in the tough conditions where Mandela had tension with his wife (Winnie Madikizela Mandela) and she was part of the leadership of the Women’s League, Mandela never shut down the league,” said Dlamini. 

“At this point we have no women’s league, no youth league and no MKMVA. We are in the ANC’s darkest years. All our leagues have been killed. All that exists are small scattered units who cannot tell Ramaphosa that he must account for Phala Phala.”

Dlamini alleged that Ramaphosa co-opts people into his office and into the organisation so they can agree with him. 

Reacting to the report, Hanekom threw his weight behind Ramaphosa and wished his critics well. 

“Oh my word — you are saying this about the president of the ANC. The truth is that we are now emerging from the darkest days, but we wish you well for your life after December when Cyril Ramaphosa starts his second term,” he said. 

Earlier this week, ANC presidential contender Zweli Mkhize took a swipe at Ramaphosa, saying the country cannot afford “another five years of directionless leadership”. 

Mkhize put his hand up to contest the top position in the ANC ahead of the conference. This is his second campaign for the ANC presidency after his bid in 2017.  

He accepted the nomination from branches, including his own in ward 14 in KwaZulu-Natal, to stand against Ramaphosa and other hopefuls to become the next ANC president.  

“I am humbled by the confidence branches have shown in me and confirm I am available to serve,” said Mkhize.

According to the former health minister, the conference will be a watershed moment. 

He said the ANC’s existence as a tool for improving the lives of South Africans is under threat.  

“Our window of opportunity to correct mistakes of the past and re-energise our movement is rapidly closing. We cannot afford another five years of deeply factionalised and directionless leadership. We must act decisively to save the ANC.” 

Mkhize also bemoaned the devastating affect of load-shedding on the economy, saying it was worsening the unemployment crisis and poverty.  

“Poverty is the mother of numerous social ills such as drug abuse, violent crimes and gender-based violence, which have been spreading unabated over the past few years. The poverty of leadership in dealing with these ills continues to condemn our people to a life of misery and indignity,” he said.

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