Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS/ NTSWE MOKOENA
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS/ NTSWE MOKOENA

It appears that Cyril Ramaphosa has suddenly found his voice. Speaking at the SACP conference, he stated he will "not remain silent". This makes a remarkable about-turn from his last eight years as deputy president and leader of government business in Parliament.

During the Nkandla debacle, Nenegate, the Waterkloof landing scandal and as our state-owned entities collapsed under the weight of Gupterisation and the economy tanked, he was silent. He bottled every opportunity to stand up to state capture. He voted slavishly every time to keep Jacob Zuma, despite the brutal judgments of the Constitutional Court. He watched cabinet colleagues Nene, Gordhan and Jonas being picked off, yet did nothing.

Now, with vaulting ambition to be president, he wants to hoodwink South Africans into believing he is the guardian of good and will miraculously fix the rotten ANC. SA needs strong, decisive and principled leadership; the last thing it needs is the weak and vacillating leadership and fair-weather principles that have become the hallmarks of the Ramaphosa brand.

John Steenhuisen, MPChief whip of the official opposition

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