Ramaphosa at Num congress: 'Don't buy votes'
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out against buying of votes within unions and in the ANC: “This is an evil that we must root out,” Ramaphosa, founding general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkes (Num), told delegates at the Num national congress in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, on 4th June 2015. “This tendency has crept into our movement. It has also crept into the ANC. We must root it out.” He called on the Num and ANC leaders not to be “arrogant” and instead serve the people. He cautioned union and ANC leaders against fighting for positions, adding that when he was still with the Num, the leadership did not fight for positions and they were not in a position to “put money in your pocket”. Ramaphosa also called on leaders not to fight among themselves.
Speaking to the delegates, he made an example about South Sudan, Africa’s youngest democratic country. “It [the establishment of South Sudan] started off well and then along the way, the leadership started fighting over positions. Today, the country is paralysed. Thousands of people have died,” he said. “We are not disciplined. We don’t respect our constitution. We don’t respect one another.” Ramaphosa, the revered struggle icon-turned-millionaire businessman/politician is touted as the best, possible candidate to succeed President Jacob Zuma at the 2017 ANC elective conference. The 62-year-old called on the Num leaders to go back to the union basics and listen to the ordinary members. “We mustn’t just assume that members are okay and satisfied with this and that.” Num, which lost more than 100 000 members over the last few years, is facing competition from the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. Despite this, it remains one of the largest unions in the gold sector.