Ramaphosa sealed his own fate – and ours

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has to live with the knowledge today that he was complicit in the appointment of all the people who now want to destroy him.

President Jacob Zuma has comprehensively out-foxed Ramaphosa for the last five years. Will this happen again in the three months before the December elective conference?

On Tuesday, 18 December 2012 Ramaphosa handed victory to Zuma and his slate over that of Kgalema Motlanthe at Mangaung by standing as his candidate for the deputy president.

Zuma received 2 983 votes to Motlanthe’s 991 and Ramaphosa got 3 018 to Mathews Phosa’s 470 and Tokyo Sexwale’s 463.

A relatively unknown provincial official, David Mahlobo, was elected to the ANC’s NEC on the Zuma ticket, as were several dozen other committed Zuma loyalists. He was appointed minister of state security shortly afterwards.

On Wednesday, 7 May 2014 Ramaphosa helped the ANC secure 62,15 percent of the vote in the general election, securing Zuma’s second term.

State capture and the white-anting of state institutions by Zuma loyalists increased drastically after the 2014 election, right under Ramaphosa’s nose.

The two top leaders of the Hawks, Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiyia, were forced to quit their jobs in October of that year.

Dramat’s successor, the now notorious Berning Ntlemeza, and the powerful suspended head of crime intelligence, Richard Mdluli, were, according to court documents, involved in this move.

Also in 2014, the intelligence services launched a dirty tricks campaign against the specialist investigating unit at SARS that led to the removal of the entire senior leadership. More than fifty managers resigned after an old Zuma friend and MK comrade, Tom Moyane, was appointed to head up the service.

Mxolisi Nxasana was also removed from his position as head of the National Prosecuting Authority and was replaced by Shaun Abrahams in June 2015.

The next victims were two top officials in state security, Mo Shaik and Gibson Njenje.

Dramat, Sibiyia, the SARS investigators, Nxasana, Shaik and Njenje had one thing in common: they all launched investigations into the financial affairs of the president and/or his wealthy business benefactors shortly before they were axed.

Mahlobo, Moyane, Ntlemeza and Abrahams were responsible for the continuous harassment of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan as part of a campaign to take over the national treasury.

This all happened on Ramaphosa’s watch as deputy president.

Between 2012 and early 2017 Ramaphosa never spoke out against these abuses.

I know for a fact that several of these Zuma victims had given Ramaphosa full reports of what had transpired and what their investigations had revealed.

He was silent after the abuse of the Waterkloof air base by the Guptas in 2013; we never heard his voice on any of the other Gupta revelations; and he allowed the appointment of Gupta proxies Faith Muthambi (2014) and Mosebenzi Zwane (2015) to the Cabinet without protest.

It is predictable that the smear campaign against Ramaphosa and those public figures in the ANC who support him will intensify in the next three months. The other prominent presidential candidate outside the Zuma camp, Lindiwe Sisulu, could also become a target.

Who is driving this campaign?

There is no way that Mahlobo is not involved. It can’t happen if he’s not a central figure.

He has the enthusiastic support of the director general of state security, Arthur Fraser.

The Hawks and SAPS’s crime intelligence unit have long abandoned their crime-fighting mandate and have become Zuma bodyguards.

I have been told that Zuma’s most trusted operator, General Richard Mdluli, on suspension with full pay for six years already, is still pulling the strings at crime intelligence.

All three these institutions have the capacity to intercept phone calls and emails.

Fraser left state security in 2009 after the parallel intelligence network he started and the hundreds of millions of rands wasted or stolen in the process, were exposed. After his departure his company got several multi-million rand contracts with the state.

The detailed dossier on these crimes have quietly been shelved and in September last year Zuma re-appointed him.

Zuma’s sons Edward and Duduzane, the Gupta-funded BLF gang of Andile Mnxgitama, the ANC Youth League and Gupta-aligned social media campaigns like WMCLeaks have in recent times and will in future be a part of the anti-Ramaphosa smear campaign, sometimes by targeting his senior backers like Gordhan, Trevor Manuel, Jackson Mthembu, Mcebisi Jonas and Derek Hanekom.

When the intelligence community targeted SARS in 2014, the Sunday Times was their vehicle of choice.

This time it is the Sunday Independent, whose editor, Steve Motale, is a highly compromised Zuma sycophant.

The Gupta television station ANN7, recently “bought” by Mzwanele Manyi, proved over the last two days that it would ably assist Motale and others in the dirty tricks campaign.

There are some lessons to be learnt from all this.