Ramaphosa, State President versus Ramaphosa, Party President

As the fifth and final part of the Report of the ‘Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations
of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector, including Organs of State –
also known as ‘the Zondo/State Capture Commission’ – gets delivered to South African
President Cyril Ramaphosa, the country gets to cross another milestone on its journey to the
2024 General Elections and what many hope will herald a ‘post-ANC South Africa’.

The next milestone will be crossed within the next four months, as stated in a statement
issued by the presidency of South Africa.

President Ramaphosa will, in line with the directive of the High Court, formally present to Parliament the full report of the Commission with an indication of my intentions on the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations. We have arranged for the administrative work needed to secure the archive of the work done by the Commission, and ensure relevant institutions have access to the extensive evidence it has collected

This presentation of the report to Parliament, together with the president’s articulation of how
its well-considered recommendations are to be implemented and will mark the next key
a milestone in South Africa’s decade and a half-long journey through wanton, deliberate,
criminal, and systemic destruction of its key democratic and other state institutions,
particularly its state-owned enterprises.

It is on record that these were placed in the hands of carefully selected political employees whose sole mandate was to weaken and repurpose them to benefit a corrupt president, his handlers, and an army of yes men and women whose mandate was to enable industrial-scale diversion of public resources into the hands of a politically shielded criminal network.

To date, South Africa’s criminal justice system – which was also weakened and repurposed
to protect the said criminal network – has struggled to stand up again, despite repeated
promises from the president and the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions and knock
on the doors or all the individuals who have been named in earlier parts of the Zondo
Commission Report. Not even one of them has been formally charged and prosecuted. The
general suspicion is that all the named people are politically connected to the ANC,
especially the so-called Radical Economic Transformation (RET) faction of it, which is known
to be fiercely opposed to Ramaphosa’s faction, which is described as more moderate and
progressive in some circles.

The abused people of South Africa continue to wait for justice, the only thing that will indicate
to them that the rule of law can still be restored and the principle of ‘equality before the law’
proven to still have relevance.

The next milestone, following Ramaphosa’s presentation to parliament and, alongside it,
actions that are expected to finally be taken by the criminal justice system, will be the ANC’s
elective conference in December 2022. This is when the two main factions of the governing
the party will be pitted against each other to either renew Ramaphosa’s presidency for a second
and final term or to elect someone else as president.

The stakes are high because in line with the current electoral system in South Africa, whoever holds the presidency of the governing party gets to become state president and exercise massive power over the state resources and the political patronage that is known to be the main oil of South African

The road to December 2022 will be a truly treacherous one for Ramaphosa and, by
extension, for South Africa. Any arrest of some key individuals who are highly implicated in
state capture and other forms of corruption, particularly former president, Jacob Zuma, who
sat at the apex of everything that is alleged to have happened, and his son, Duduzane, who
was a key business partner to the notorious Rajesh, Atul, and Ajay Gupta brothers might be
met by some resistance and, going by the riots that followed the brief imprisonment of Jacob
Zuma for other criminal charges, and public unrest.

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Ramaphosa will also be accused by his enemies in the party of using state institutions to
fight his political enemies. But he will have to choose again between serving the party that
deployed him to the highest office in the land and South Africa, the country whose
Constitution he has sworn to live by, protect and uphold.

It will be another chance for him to pick his side after several video clips have been leaked in which he declared his allegiance to the party over the country. In one, he can be heard declaring in front of TV cameras that he would rather be seen as a weak resident than one who would split the ANC. His mission, he said, is to unite the ANC.

South Africans are waiting, and the world is watching. If not on Ramaphosa, the State
President, South Africa will have to rely on its institutions, specifically the criminal justice
the system, to save it from Ramaphosa, the party president, and his comrades.
The journey to the bigger milestone that will be the 2024 general elections is yet to be