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Not afraid to ‘fight physically’: Ramaphosa supporters rally behind him at NEC meeting

Not afraid to ‘fight physically’: Ramaphosa supporters rally behind him at NEC meeting

Pretoria – As the top brass of the ruling African National Congress gathered in Johannesburg on Monday, to deliberate the fate of embattled President Cyril Ramaphosa, supporters have also gathered to show support for their leader.

Representing a crowd of pro-Ramaphosa group outside the Nasrec premises in Joburg where the NEC is meeting, an ANC member interviewed by broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, Maropeng Serakwana, said they were gathered to defend their leader.

“We are here to say to the NWC and the NEC: ‘Hands off our president.’ We support our president and we will support our president until the conference decides otherwise. As for now, our president is not criminally charged and we believe justice must be equal before everyone,” said Serakwana.

“We don’t have a problem, if maybe there will be a push for us to fight physically for our president. We are saying (this) to those that intimidate all our people of South Africa, those people who want to collapse our country, the people who stole from the coffers of our country, state capture beneficiaries… We are sending a clear message to Carl Niehaus – he is not one of us.”

Spokesperson of the disbanded Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), Carl Niehaus stood a few metres away from the pro-Ramaphosa supporters, holding a portrait on which was written “Ramaphosa must go”.

The Congress of the People (Cope) has separated itself from most of the South African opposition parties, by rejecting the widespread calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign in the wake of the damning report on the Phala Phala scandal.

Dogged by infighting, characterised by the physical exchange of blows, Cope national spokesperson Dennis Bloem said his party welcomed the decision announced by Ramaphosa, to take the report on legal review.

“We reiterate what we said before, that the allegations against President Ramaphosa are very serious and President Ramaphosa must answer all the questions coming from the Phala Phala robbery. That is the only way to clear his name,” Bloem said.

“Cope acknowledged the Independent Panel Report that was handed over to the Speaker of the National Assembly and chairperson of the National Council of Provinces.

“Cope welcomes the decision of President Ramaphosa to take the report for legal review. We believe it is his democratic right to do so.”


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