'I hold him in the highest regard': Ramaphosa on Msimang’s resignation
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the resignation of ANC Veterans League deputy president Mavuso Msimang is “regrettable”.
“We all join the ANC on a voluntary basis (as individuals) and he has reached a stage where he would like to step down from being a member of the ANC,” he said.
Ramaphosa was speaking to journalists after addressing an imbizo in the Matjahabeng municipality under the Lejweleputswa district in the Free State on Thursday.
The president, who was asked about Msimang’s resignation from the ruling party on Wednesday after giving six decades of his life to the organisation, said while the “ANC continues to grow”, the stalwart's decision to leave the party was “regrettable” .
“There are many other members who join the ANC on a continuous basis, so we do regret the decision that he has taken, and I am rather pleased that he says that he will want to continue being involved in one shape, form or other in matters that have to do with our country.
“With time, maybe he will be able to participate with us again.”
Ramaphosa went on to say that the ANC still holds Msimang in high regard.
“I hold him in the highest regard, he is one of our outstanding veterans,” he said.
Noting Msimang’s resignation, the party in a statement said the stalwart’s contribution will remain valuable. It reiterated its call on its veterans to “stop de-campaigning the ANC” and work through the structures of the organisation and said party leadership and Ramaphosa have always availed themselves for the counsel and direction by the veterans.
“De-campaigning the ANC has serious implications for the public standing of the organisation.”
TimesLIVE reported that in his resignation letter addressed to party secretary-general Fikile Mbalula, Msimang described ANC rule as a calamity that he could no longer invest his energies on. He cited the following as examples of “glaring” ANC government failures:
- Raw sewage in eThekwini flowing into the uMngeni River and into the sea, polluting beaches that have been a traditional holiday destination for black people from inland provinces.
- The tragic deaths of 160 frail, elderly and very vulnerable psychiatric patients that were sent by the Gauteng ANC government to ill-equipped, ill-prepared and ill-funded houses under the guise of unqualified NGOs.
- Failing, downsizing businesses or simply deciding not to invest any more in our country where the environment has become entirely disabling for them, leading to thousands of jobs being lost at a time when the unemployment rate ranges north of 32% and 60% for people aged between 15 and 24.
- An Eskom brought to its knees by high-level corruption and sabotage has literally rendered the nation powerless and all too often left in the dark.
- Transnet’s mismanagement has derailed its freight haulage system. In consequence, road transporters who have stepped into the breach sometimes have to wait in 40km-long queues, while belching noxious gases into the atmosphere, because ports are congested. The resulting demurrage charges are inevitably, ultimately borne by the consumer.
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