From: Concerned uMkhonto we Sizwe veterans
To: The Leadership, the general membership and the various structures of the ANC.
Attention: The Secretary-General of the ANC Comrade Ace Magashule
Comrades, we are cadres of the African National Congress and ex-combatants of uMkhonto we Sizwe the Revolutionary People’s Army. Recent events in our country and particularly the current situation unfolding within the African National Congress have prompted us to take this route and address our concerns to the leadership, general membership and the various structures of the African National Congress as chief role players in the unfolding of the revolution; we have not opted to go to the courts as has become fashionable lately with some of those calling themselves members of the ANC.
Without further waste of time or words, we will deal directly with what chiefly and importantly, concerns us:
A book authored by Gayton McKenzie, titled “Let’s kill Zuma by all means” has been published. There are startling revelations that we need to have the leadership address and pronounce publicly the stance of the organisation. The members of the ANC have to seriously and urgently reflect on our concerns and take a stand. Or we face the hijack of the revolution for which we cannot account for now and in the future after such a gallant struggle.
One underlying principle is that the leadership of the ANC of necessity has to be a tried and tested leadership. That speaks primarily of maturity of the leadership through many years of trials and tests which lead members to accept them as leaders. This has been the case from John Dube to Jacob Zuma. Then emerges Cyril Ramaphosa.
We are surprised and shocked that a member who joined the ANC only in 1991 has been elevated, with the overt support of big business, banks, the white-owned and controlled media, and courts, president of the ANC. Our leaders in exile for many years warned us to be wary of leaders who will appear from nowhere and lead the movement away from its objectives.
We have read the book mentioned above and are deeply disturbed by the ascension of one who is not really our own to the highest office in the ANC. We call upon the organisation to reflect deeply, fearlessly and truthfully into the Cyril Ramaphosa matter and even summon him to account or state his side after the publication of the book in question. We are actually saying Cyril Ramaphosa is not a genuine leader of the ANC and has a lot to answer to. His leadership of the ANC is suspect because he does not fall into the category of the tried and tested.
Where is the principle of leaders having to pass through the eye of the needle?
Cyril Ramaphosa is not schooled in ANC tradition, he did not grow up in the organisation and has been educated and funded largely by the very forces opposed to the fundamental objectives of the ANC.
(To quote from Gayton Mckenzie’s book, “Ramaphosa had been introduced to Clive Menell by John and Sarah Woodhouse, who requested that Clive and Irene Menell “care for him”
because the Woodhouses were aware of Menell’s project to “collect bright young people”. As Bill Keller of The New York Times wrote in a profile of Ramaphosa in 2013: “The [Urban Foundation] invited influential or promising blacks to join in worthy projects for the betterment of African communities. And that is how Ramaphosa acquired an important patron. Clive Menell, the head of the gold-mining conglomerate Anglovaal, recruited him into the Urban Foundation, helped him complete the legal studies interrupted by prison and gave him a measure of credibility with the people who held the real power in South Africa. Clive’s son and heir, Rick Menell, became and remains a close friend.” These wealthy benefactors would open many doors for Cyril in the years following their introduction to him and his then-girlfriend, Hope, who he married in 1978. The Menells provided material support to Cyril, including resources, financing his studies and introducing him to their powerful circle of friends, who included English and Afrikaans businessmen such as Rudolf Gouws, Anton Rupert, and Derek Keys, who was later the finance minister in both De Klerk’s apartheid government and Mandela’s democratic government. The June 1976 riots saw Ramaphosa being detained for a further six months at the notorious John Vorster Square Police Station. In September 1978, despite being an as yet unqualified lawyer, Ramaphosa was appointed to the regional board of the Urban Foundation where he interacted with the leaders of the apartheid regime, civil society, the leadership of business and academia. He attended meetings diligently on the first Monday of every month and was an active contributor who supported the foundation’s philosophy. He finally graduated with his law degree through correspondence with the University of South Africa and completed his articles after joining a small but prestigious law firm. According to Donald Lindsay, it was through the Urban Foundation that Cyril was offered the position at the firm. In 1979, the Wiehahn Commission, established as a result of business lobbying, recommended that the apartheid government recognise black trade unions and migrant labourers and encourage them to register in a regulated system of trade union registration. This opened the way for Cyril Ramaphosa to join the trade union movement despite never having worked as a labourer in any industries that would be unionising, particularly mining, in his life. He was then rapidly moved through the ranks of the labour movement after joining the Council of Unions of South Africa (Cusa) as a legal adviser. The young Ramaphosa enjoyed a stellar rise as a unionist. When Cusa went on to form the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), he became the NUM’s first secretary in 1982 and organised the conference that led to the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).”
Cyril Ramaphosa is actually their creation and darling; that really causes for alarm and reason enough to seriously question both his membership and leadership of the ANC. He is indebted to White Monopoly Capital and they certainly will come calling – if they have not, already – and he is obligated to them to return their investment. That return on investment is the destabilisation and destruction of the ANC and the revolution.
We have learned that Cyril Ramaphosa at some stage expected to be made Deputy President of the ANC, when that did not happen, he simply left the organisation and joined the business and we don’t know what else. How can we now entrust such a person to the presidency of the ANC? What guarantee do we have that should something else not materialise the way he wants, he will not vanish again?
In the very year (1991) that Cyril Ramaphosa joined the ANC and became its Secretary General, he tabled a motion to (1) remove Thabo Mbeki as Chief negotiator at CODESA and (2) the removal of Jacob Zuma as head of intelligence, both senior and long-serving ANC members, at the NWC and the decision was adopted by the NEC without the knowledge and approval of Nelson Mandela. His very first act after ascending to a top position was to remove and demote tried and tested leaders of the ANC without following ANC protocol. And most importantly without the knowledge and approval of the ANC president.
He was even in that conference on the understanding that he was a non-voting delegate. He was not even supposed to vote, let alone be elected to the ANC leadership.
How the leadership of the organisation allowed this to go unchallenged and unquestioned boggles the mind;
(Even though comrade Harry Gwala did not approve or agree) that a man coming in from outside the ranks of the ANC just lands such a top position in the organization. Cyril Ramaphosa is so hungry for power and control that when Mandela was inaugurated the president of South Africa, he did not attend. How can such a man be allowed to lead the ANC?
This is to us a clear, textbook behaviour of one who not came to join us and be a part of what we are about but to oppose us and steer us away from our objective. This is a classical act of infiltration. The words of comrade Oliver Tambo were: “An outsider cannot destroy the ANC, but only from within can the organisation be weakened and destroyed.”
Radical Economic Transformation is ANC policy but in Soweto, accompanied by his mentors, funders, and supporters from big business, representing White Monopoly Capital, Cyril Ramaphosa spoke of a “new deal,” a policy foreign to the ANC that we know nothing of. This “new deal” might have been penned in the very citadels of White Monopoly Capital and presented to Cyril Ramaphosa to parade as ANC policy.
We as revolutionaries view this Ramaphosa “new deal” as opposing ANC policy, counter-revolutionary and divisive. Again, the man was not schooled and trained in the ANC. He brings his own agenda – running parallel and contrary to ANC policy, culture and tradition. Ramaphosa is not a leader of the ANC but a man who desires to lead the ANC.
Just like there are compromises he made at the CODESA negotiations which we firmly believe had he not championed the removal of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, the ANC would not have acceded to.
The training that we received, our history and experience in the struggle leads us to firmly believe and conclude that Cyril Ramaphosa was parachuted into the ANC by White Monopoly Capital for the express reason of protecting their interests, which mission he will not shy away from because he was trained, funded and educated by them and has no history of being shaped, like our leaders before him, in the very trenches of the struggle.
We pose the question: “where is the principle that the leadership of the ANC has to pass through the eye of the needle?”
We also demand that the leadership of the ANC who were there when poisoned liver was placed before the president, Jacob Zuma, be revealed to the membership of the ANC and the nation. How can the organisation’s top leaders sit on such information? Where did the liver come from, who prepared it and who wanted the president to eat it and die? Without the leadership telling us, we conclude it is Cyril Ramaphosa.
The same Cyril Ramaphosa, being the Deputy President, brazenly defied the ANC by attending and addressing, a meeting of the so-called MK council, operating parallel, opposite the MKMVA and the organisation’s structures.
The leader of that council is the same Siphiwe Nyanda mentioned as a possible spy in the book in question. Comrade Kid Sogovu an MK combatant who has served seven years on Robben Island has on many occasions expressly stated that he himself was betrayed by Siphiwe Nyanda. Comrade Sogovu also suspects the same Siphiwe Nyanda also betrayed MK combatant, Comrade Nokuthula Simelane.
Siphiwe Nyanda denied in the presence of the media that he knew comrade Sogovu yet he was his commander. The question is why the denial? Has the ANC ever demanded an explanation from Siphiwe Nyanda, Cyril Ramaphosa’s ally, of this fact?
Was Cyril Ramaphosa’s involvement with the callous gunning down of so many mine-workers in Marikana a deliberate tactic by him to tarnish the name and image of the African National Congress? One moment he is presented before the people as a champion of the working class, as a leader in NUM and the UDF, the next moment as a capitalist in the same league with White Monopoly Capital, he is involved in the violence that leads to their massacre.
Cyril is also mentioned in the saga of an African businessman, Sam Molope, who lost his bakery because of Cyril Ramaphosa. It looks to us like wherever Cyril Ramaphosa is there is a gnashing of teeth by the people and rejoicing in the opposing camp.
As MK soldiers who are trained, politically and militarily, we cannot keep quiet any longer. We seek to see the implementation of Radical Economic Transformation, Free Education, the Expropriation of Land without compensation, and its return to the people with no more delays and excuses. We will be at the forefront of this struggle and it will not be business as usual to all those tasked with implementing these policies which we have bled and died for. Let no one be under any false illusions, uMkhonto We Sizwe is resolute about the implementation of these policies in favour of the popular masses of our people.
Too much has happened with us keeping mum, but the time has come for us to rise in defense of our people, the ANC, the revolution and our country. The concerns and questions raised in this letter must be addressed with truthfulness, speedily and honestly. We call on the organisation in its entirety and the leadership, in particular, to give answers this very month of January 2018.
Comrades: Nandi Rweqana – 071 7638942
Sibusiso Radebe – 079 1113821
Vuka Mahlasela – 073 1942378
Keith Sogovu – 083 6406151