It is ironic that on the anniversary of Mandela’s birthday when people are called to remember his role in ushering in a dispensation based on the rule of law, President Ramaphosa, as the first citizen who pledged to uphold the constitution, was reported as refusing to acknowledge his wrongdoing regarding over R60 million in undeclared foreign exchange found on his farm (The Mercury, July 18).

Yet, to add insult to injury, Ramaphosa insisted that he would not “stop the fight against corruption and wrongdoing.” Unless he comes clean about that cash stored on his farm, he needs to understand that his credibility in fighting corruption is zero.

But it seems that upholding the constitution to which he is pledged is only of secondary importance to what he says is the “fight for the soul of the ANC.”  So, now even the integrity of the highest office in the land is only of secondary importance to the interests of the ANC.

This reality has already been played out at lower levels across the country where ANC  members involved in blatant theft and corruption, like the ex-mayor of eThekwini, are redeployed and restored to prominence to continue their pursuit of power.

The recent removal of the president of Sri Lanka through public outrage at his corruption should serve as a reminder to Ramaphosa, particularly as a big demonstration against him is being organised, that he cannot dodge the bullet indefinitely.

Ramaphosa needs to remember that South Africa is a republic. That means all citizens have jurisdiction in the running of the country, not just the democratically elected governing party. The mass protests against the Sri Lankan president reflected the rights of Sri Lankans to assert their objections and demands. In other words, Ramaphosa is answerable to South Africa – not the ANC, and that applies to all holders of public office.

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