From Ramaforia to Rampocracy?


After the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC leader and then as president of South Africa, many people were filled with a kind of euphoria. Not only was South Africa saved from the jaws of former president Jacob Zuma and potential successors, but it was hoped that this could put the country on a path to success.

Now, however, in the run-up to next year’s general election, there is an abundance of cases that indicate that hope is unfortunately being put to shame. Because the media generally reports extensively on these matters, it is nonsensical to write extensively about this as well. Various opinion makers have op RNews already responded to the ANC’s renewed smokescreen to blame apartheid for all its failures. (Please read here and here.)

In the most recent incidents, Ramaphosa’s congratulation of the Zanu-PF on the “election victory” first raised the hairs on the neck. Following the fact that even the SADC’s election observers did not see a chance to declare the election free and fair, it was after all morally badly misplaced. In addition, the ANC also heaped praise on the Zanu-PF through the mouth of its mouthy secretary general, Mbalula. (Mbalula’s statements have already led to Tim du Plessis referring to him as “Weet F&^%$l Mbalula” with striking motivation.

And then Ramaphosa attended the inauguration! He was only one of three African heads of government or state to do so – the other two also questionable. In parliament, he denies that he hit the country’s name with a plank.

On RSG, Du Plessis provided other background, such as that then president Thabo Mbeki appointed two judges to investigate the validity of Mugabe’s “re-election”. The judges found that Mugabe had indeed lost the election, but the report on this was only made known to the South African voters after 12 years.

There is also an enormous amount of criticism from experts that the commission of inquiry into the sneaky visit of the Russian Lady R more concealed than revealed. In fact, some observers make a strong case that even untruths were actually used to try to cover up certain facts.

The Phala Phala report of the Reserve Bank is also heavily criticized. This is in line with the fact that the frameworks within which investigations are carried out are so narrowly formulated that key issues “fall outside the mandate of investigation”, and are therefore not investigated.

Now and then it is expected that the Zondo commission’s report of investigation into statehood is dragging on too long, and Ramaphosa’s assurances that there is indeed progress are widely criticized. His admission that the lifestyle audit of the minister has been delayed due to various factors is also not taken too well.

The ANC’s appeal against a High Court ruling that details of the cadre deployment committee’s doings must be made available to the DA, in practice indicates that unlawful actions have been taken. The Court of Appeal has meanwhile dismissed the ANC’s appeal with costs.

It also comes in the midst of a serious circus about the country’s alleged non-alignment. Unless the ANC defines non-alignment as “being brother-brother with international mice dogs” this is a hoax. There is regular toe-to-toe with Cuba, while this practice was in a certain sense initiated by the then president Nelson Mandela by Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli.

ANC failures, also from the Ramaphosa era, such as the extent of corruption, roads with potholes, failing municipalities, cadre deployment and so on, can still be widely expanded.

But is Ramaphosa indeed “worse” than Zuma – or even Mugabe? It’s hard to imagine that someone could “rule” worse than Zuma and Mugabe.

But it’s not as simple as one would expect to answer this. Zuma said on occasion that the ANC’s ideal is to create a socialist-communist country. Since he became president, has Ramaphosa clearly and effectively spelled it out as offside?

Where Zuma, like his clone Julius Malema and the ANC’s current secretary-general, “Know f&^%L” Mbalula (according to Tim du Plessis) talks more than thinks, Ramaphosa is normally more inclined to remain silent. And it is not always due to a considered reflection before he reacts. His, or at least his spokesman’s, explanation that the president cannot talk about the “Kill the Boer” song is because it is still sub judice would be, simply does not go down in the context of polarization.

If one looks at the oath of office that the president took at his inauguration, it is almost unthinkable that he “at all times”:

  • It will promote what is for the benefit of the Republic, and will abjure what the Republic can harm.
  • The rights of protect and promote all South Africans.
  • To all will be late justice done.
  • Him on the welfareof the Republic and all his people will dedicate

In a letter to Netwerk24, in the form of an open letter to Ramaphosa, Frikkie Sutherland appealed to the president in May 2020 to bind him to his promise to live up to his oath of office. He points to several examples, but especially points out that all people in the country do not receive equal treatment – among other things to the detriment of the economy and job creation.

On RSG’s listeners-bakkies page in 2021, the topic of whether Ramaphosa is honorable was discussed by many listeners. In particular, the issue of statehood came under scrutiny and several participants used words such as complicit and complicit. About all that got in his way were listeners who thought he couldn’t open his mouth until he became president. In one case, the opinion is expressed that if he (as deputy president) had spoken out, he would have been fired – and what would we have then?

The question must also be asked about how much damage Ramaphosa has done because of his choice of weak to hopeless ministers? And especially with the persistence with ministers who are/were clearly incompetent, and have become embarrassments? This was well demonstrated, among other things, about the “minister” of transport’s statements about the Western Cape taxi strike. On the one hand, by accusing the City of Cape Town of violating the law on impounding taxis, and on the other hand, taking Santaco’s side “on behalf” of the government. In short, there are several examples from the past about ministers who were very embarrassing, but who were persevered with.

On Netwerk 24, prof. Pieter Labuschagne that the rule of law is being eroded by the “unvarnished political interference” which resulted in Zuma not having to go back to prison after his illegal parole. The Phala-Phala and Lady R-reports unfortunately also smell of barely veiled political interference. Ramaphosa’s “defense” on his visit to the Zimbabwean presidential inauguration that South Africa is highly regarded for its human rights therefore sounds very hollow.

At least Ramaphosa is not as blatant as Zuma who criticized the power of courts to overturn the “government” – actually the ANC’s – enforcement of majority decisions. Indeed, Zuma “barely veiled” advocated the concept of a dictatorship/tyranny of the majority. (That’s now if the ruling party got its majority without an election rigging or the suppression of media freedom).

So, is Ramaphosa a bigger disaster than Zuma? That sum can only be made later.