While speaking at Chris Hani Memorial lecture in Uitenage, Port Elizabeth, on Sunday, deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa took a swipe at people who issued death threats against Human Settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu and other ANC big shots.
The ANC presidential hopeful condemned the threats and expressed worry that some people in the country are hell-bent on dragging the image and reputation of the country through the mire.
He, however, shocked the audience when he revealed that his name was also mentioned in the hit list.
Although Ramaphosa admitted that he has never been physically threatened with death, he said he was reliable informed that his name came up along with that of minister Lindiwe.
“I have not been directly threatened with death. Truth be told when her name surfaced, mine also surfaced. I heard my name was also on the list,” he said.
On Zuma’s latest cabinet reshuffle, Ramaphosa said the controversial move has deepened the existing divisions in the governing party.
He lamented that the unity of the democratic movement is fast fading away as a result of factionalism, vote buying, gatekeeping and other scandals.
“We are now in an era and comrades don’t want us to talk about this but the ANC is the parliament of the people and we must talk about these things we cannot keep quiet,” he added.
Earlier this month, it emerged that some ANC dissenters received death threats for challenging President Jacob Zuma.
With eight months left before the ANC’s elective conference, the cracks within the ANC have continued to deepen as members take sides on who to support.
Despite the party putting up a show of togetherness after its recent national working committee (NWC) meeting, multiple insiders still attest that all is not well in the movement.
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, a potential candidate to succeed Zuma, has allegedly escaped two assassination attempts in June and October 2016 while ANC’s chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe have both received similar messages for questioning Zuma’s decisions.
ANC Chief whip Jackson Mthembu is being accused of working with opposition parties against Zuma. An ANC MP who pleaded anonymity told reporters that the chief whip has been receiving insulting SMSes and calls from people calling from private numbers. In fact, a faction within the party wants Mthembu to step down as ANC chief whip.
Buzzsouthafrica gathered that Sisulu is one of ANC brave comrades who is not afraid to attack President Zuma during ANC internal meetings. However, she is yet to speak out against the president publicly.
Last week, ANC structure in Eastern Cape launched a presidential campaign for Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, asking her to lead the party in 2017 and the country in 2019.
Like president Jacob Zuma, most ANC members believes that the time for a female president is ripe. And though Zuma’s ex-spouse Dlamini-Zuma appears to have stolen the show, many still consider Sisulu a serious threat to the former African Union Commission chairperson.
The ANC has barred its members from campaigning for Zuma’s successor for now. The party holds its elective conference in December when members are expected to pick another leader.