EDITORIAL | It’s no coincidence state capturers are slinging mud at Cyril
We should expect those implicated in the Zondo report will use any means at their disposal to exonerate themselves
The narrative that seeks to portray President Cyril Ramaphosa as a heartless and corrupt BEE billionaire who’s trying to steer the liberation project in favour of white and foreign business interests has an obvious political objective. It was augmented and given further colour by a new episode this week. It must have left the president wondering what he has to do to score a victory in the vicious game of our politics and the smear of claims of illicit enrichment on the backs of the working poor.
The EFF has been at the vanguard of allegations that Ramaphosa was implicit in the Marikana massacre of August 2012, and that he has “blood on his hands’’ for the deaths of the 34 striking mineworkers. He was a director of Lonmin, the multinational owner of the Marikana mine. He has since apologised for the “language’’ he used in urging that “concomitant action’’ be taken, which his opponents interpreted as a call to use violence. That Ramaphosa has not yet visited Marikana, though he has said he will, has given his opponents further ammunition.
It’s an odd twist of history that we’ve gone from a president who once couldn’t pay for his own car wash to one whose wealth will always cast a shadow in a context where inequality has become the fulcrum on which our politics is leveraged. Witness also the circumstances in which Ramaphosa won the presidency of the ANC in 2017, with fundraising among business figures so successful that some, including public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, saw the so-called CR17 fund as a subject for investigation as to who donated and what they expected in return...