When facing complex situations, human beings don’t want complicated answers; they want a simple way out.
From the nightmare of Jacob Zuma, some people see Cyril Ramaphosa as a way out. This simple logic must not be left unchallenged.
First and foremost, Ramaphosa has been part of Zuma’s kleptocratic government for the past eight years.
In other words, SA was plundered and captured with Ramaphosa sitting in the Union Buildings. It is only six months ahead of the ANC’s elective conference that he has seemingly found a backbone.
Given Ramaphosa’s unionist background, we were all shocked to learn he had a role in the killing of workers in Marikana.
Lenin once asked: “Why should he [socialist minister] not remain in the cabinet even after the shooting down of workers by the gendarmes has exposed, for the hundredth and thousand time, the real nature of democratic collaborations between the classes?”
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) that Ramaphosa once led is known for its socialist leanings, but he did not seem to remember socialism when bidding for expensive buffalos at capitalist auctions. Thorstein Veblen calls this “conspicuous consumption”.
Millions of South Africans could not believe it when Ramaphosa voted many times to defend Jacob Zuma as he was violating our constitution.
In parliament, we watched him repeating like a parrot: “As President Zuma said .”.
What this tells us is that he has a fundamental weakness of character. He is not a man of strong will, with a clear stance. When he is in NUM, he is a socialist. When he is out, he is a capitalist. When he is deputy president, he defends Zuma. And now he is anti-Zuma.
Those who believe Ramaphosa drafted the constitution regard him as a thinker. But we never see the alleged intellect when he speaks publicly. We, South Africans, are offended by the demand for evidence that a leader can think.
There was a time when some among us suggested that Zuma is a wise man who is misunderstood by clever blacks.
Where is the evidence that Ramaphosa has a bright mind to dig SA out of its current mess? It is true that he is better than Zuma and all his former and current wives, but that can’t be the standard.
That Ramaphosa is rich is not because he is clever. Truth be told, he was enriched by wealthy white people who sought political insurance from highly placed individuals in the ANC.
Brains do matter. We need them to solve SA’s vexing problems. Even Thabo Mbeki’s sharp mind failed to end poverty, create jobs, and reduce inequality. Why must we expect miracles from Ramaphosa?
Ramaphosa can do nothing to bring back the old ANC of Nelson Mandela. That ANC is gone – forever.
The ANC of today is infested with criminals and careerists who see the party as a means of private accumulation. The reason the Scorpions were the first target after Polokwane is that criminals in the party are determined to destroy any institution or leader who threatens them.
If Ramaphosa wants to fall quickly, he must threaten criminals in his party. They are so powerful they can have him recalled easily – ask Mbeki.
The problem is that the ANC has received “donations” from dodgy quarters. Anyone who wishes to deal seriously with criminal elements within the ANC faces the dilemma of a party that has received unexplained money from state-owned companies like Prasa, Eskom, etc. Does anyone think Ramaphosa would let the public know how much “dirty” money the ANC has received?
To his supporters, this might sound like a harsh critique. A man who pretends to have what it takes to lead a democratic country like ours must never escape public scrutiny. He must prove himself. That is what it means to live in an open society.