Ace Magashule, president of the African Congress for Transformation (ACT), and other African National Congress (ANC) officials were cautioned not to support Cyril Ramaphosa for deputy president in 2012.
Ramaphosa served as then-President Jacob Zuma’s deputy until his election to the presidency following the 2017 Nasrec conference, where he defeated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Magashule, who was expelled from the ANC in June after the party charged him with misconduct for wrongfully suspending Ramaphosa, spoke on Thursday’s episode of MacG’s Podcast and Chill.
Although he was expelled from the ANC under Ramaphosa’s leadership, the former secretary-general revealed he was one of the persons who backed him for deputy president in 2012 – but not without a warning.
“In 2017, there was NDZ and CR, and factionalism reared its ugly head. What South Africans don’t know is that we were the people who brought Cyril Ramaphosa to be the ANC’s deputy president and were warned.
“We called on Zweli Mkhize to come in, and he told us, ‘But you have Zuma, who is from KZN’, but we told him it was not about that. When we elect leaders, we go for people who we think have the necessary capacity and abilities. That’s why we made him [Zweli Mkhize] treasurer-general.”
While the SACP and Cosatu did not want Ramaphosa as their deputy in 2012, they changed their minds and supported him for president in 2017.
“In 2012, everyone else said no to Ramaphosa, but we said yes. In 2017, when everyone else was saying Cyril [Ramaphosa] for president, we said no because we wanted NDZ,” he said.
Magashule stated that he supported Ramaphosa for deputy president since he was unaware of information concerning him.
“We didn’t know some of the things about him. We were prewarned and told certain things, and we just believed that he was the right man to lead. There are things I can’t talk about. We liked him because we had worked with him as a leader,” he said.
“I don’t want to talk badly about the movement; I don’t want to talk badly about any leader of the ANC. I’m not that type of person. I don’t do what [Fikile] Mbalula does. I can talk one day and once, and I think I can finish him off.”
Although Magashule believes the tension between him and Ramaphosa is more about the differences in their ideologies, he said he still has a “wonderful” relationship with former ANC leaders.
“My relationship with him [Zuma] is wonderful. With all the presidents we’ve worked with, [Nelson] Mandela, [Thabo] Mbeki, Zuma, wonderful,” he said.
“Zuma is a warm person. He is a real people’s leader; forget us. He’s a father, that’s why he still stays in Nkandla, where there are no rich people, surrounded by poverty.”