Speaking at the Press Gallery Association in Cape Town yesterday, Deputy President Cyril Ramphosa came clean on Marikana, where more than 40 workers were shot dead in August 2012.
“I think the timing on this matter, which is a hurtful matter and has brought a lot of pain to a lot of people, is of the essence. It’s a matter that is being addressed on a number of levels.
“As for myself, it’s not a matter that I have swept under the carpet. It’s a matter that has to be addressed,” Ramaphosa said.
“After the ANC conference, I intend to go on a bit of a holiday and rest from a gruelling year. “Whatever the outcome after the conference, I don’t expect disputes to come out of this conference.”
He said President Jacob Zuma’s hosting a supper for the seven hopefuls last week was a wonderful occasion.
“It was warm. People hugged each other. I can assure you no one had a dagger in their pocket. The president’s message was ‘I just want us to have an orderly and dignified conference’.
“Each of the seven contenders for the presidency have pledged to accept the outcome of December’s election.”
On the leadership conference being held, he said: “Yes, it will go ahead. I’m hopeful that the conference will go ahead without any hitch.”
Each of the seven contenders, Ramaphosa said, pledged that whatever the branches decided they would accept.
“I will accept (the decision) if I’m not successful. I have been nominated …. but I will unreservedly accept the outcome of the decision of delegates of ANC.”
If he lost, he would pledge his support and loyalty and would without any equivocation serve the ANC. “I don’t expect any disputed outcome.”
On a possible judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, Ramaphosa said the matter was being discussed with President Zuma on an ongoing basis.
It remained the president’s prerogative and power to appoint a commission of inquiry, he said.
“I have no doubt in my mind that a commission of inquiry will be appointed to initiate an investigation into all of these matters,” Ramaphosa said.
He said President Zuma was looking into allegations that the state security minister (Bongani Bongo) had tried to subvert Parliament’s Eskom inquiry.
“We all now know that this thing … is being looked into. I would suggest we leave it there.”
On disunity in the ANC, which has seen five MPs attack chief whip Jackson Mthembu, he said such attacks were of concern.
“To have gone on the attack is a great sign of ill-discipline. I take a very dim view of the manner in which this issue has been raised.”