For long, the ANCYL has always been critical of all who’ve publicly pledged support for Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Gordhan used to be President Zuma’s loyalist but after the tides changed, the finance minister gradually metamorphosed to Zuma’s nemesis.
The fallout also led to embittered attacks from the camps of the ANCYL, ANCWL and pro-Zuma cadres on the minister.
In January, at a media briefing in Irene, outside Pretoria, the ANC Youth League inflated its grudges against Deputy President Cyril Ramphosa and Gordhan by alleging that the duo have a direct interest in what happens at South African Airways.
The league accused the two senior government officials of ensuring the collapse of SAA to create space for private businesses they are linked to. It claimed Ramaphosa and Gordhan have interests in Bidvest and Comair, which they said had interests at SAA.
At the time, ANCYL spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said: “If you go and look at the SAA at close range you would realize there are service providers who have been service providers to SAA since 1973.
“When SAA was moved from public enterprises to Treasury for a turnaround strategy, Minister of Finance comrade Pravin Gordhan appointed a consultant, who serves as a board consultant. That board tells SAA that it must take everything to Bidvest.”
However, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has used the occasion of his Parliamentary oral question/reply session to refute the claims.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, the presidential hopeful slammed the league for spreading such unsubstantiated and fake news about his business interest.
He told MPs that he’s not guilty of conflict of interest, as alleged by the league, and that he has not been making money dealings with the government entities.
The deputy president said he disposed of all his shares in the Shanduka group in 2014 and therefore has no conflict of interest to declare under the executive ethics code.
He said: “I did not leave the business to come into government business, to come and conduct fraudulent business in government.
I hold the view that if you want to make money, make money in business, do not come and make money dealing with government entities.”
Ramaphosa promised to engage the league on the matter; stressing that he has no business interest in SAA or any other company.
I have told them that the matter they raised publicly was a lie, was a fabrication and as you say, fake news because there is no truth that I am conducting business with SAA or any other company,” he added.