Ramaphosa’s Silence is Deafening

The silence of President Cyril Ramaphosa in the wake of the Sec 89 panel report into Phala Phala has risen to become deafening.

Any leader with any substance would have either resigned or addressed the nation to express their position on the report. This is essential for a country looking for clarity from its President and for an already struggling economy battling against the fluctuations in the Rand because of the uncertainty.

Yesterday South Africans had to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing how their country, their lives and their businesses would be impacted by the news the prospects of yet another ANC President having to resign. The Rand lost 5% of its value against the dollar and our banks lost 10% of their stock price on the JSE yesterday alone. Perhaps most telling was the yield on 10-year rand-denominated debt surging 91 basis points to 11.71%, the most in a day since former President Jacob Zuma’s axing of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in December 2015 roiled markets.

Ramaphosa is acting like an accused person exercising his rights not to incriminate himself, while simultaneously prioritising the internal considerations of the ANC and its NEC meeting. Nowhere in the President’s thinking does it seem to feature that South Africans and our economy have a need for clarity that supersedes his personal and political considerations.

It must be repeated that South Africa over the last decade has had to come to terms with political leaders who are battling criminal charges and violations of the Constitution. This seems to preoccupy these leaders when the country is desperate for effective and ethical leadership.

It is an indictment on the ANC that many South Africans are understandably concerned about what President Ramaphosa’s resignation would mean for the country, given the prospect of his successor being an even more ethically compromised candidate. Many South Africans placed their hope in a Ramaphosa presidency in the wake of Zuma’s lost decade; they have been deeply disappointed by Ramaphosa’s inaction in key areas and the exposure of the Phala Phala scandal. South Africa cannot be held hostage by a party where the choice is simply one between better devils.

ActionSA repeats our call for President Ramaphosa to be decisive and do the honourable thing and resign his Presidency in order to spare South Africans of the humiliation of another President alleged to have broken our laws.