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‘Ramaphosa has no place on Aids council’

THE South African National Aids Council (Sanac) will deliberate on a demand from a branch of the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (Somafco), for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to be removed as its chairperson following his admission to infidelity.

This after an ANC Youth League (ANCYL) aligned branch of the college delivered a memorandum to Sanac earlier this week, demanding among others, that Ramaphosa should have no place on the Aids council following revelations of several alleged extramarital affairs.

At the time, Ramaphosa, who is considered as a front runner along with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for the ANC presidency, conceded to at least one affair that ended several years ago.

He however dismissed separate but related allegations as a “dirty tricks” campaign aimed at tarnishing his reputation ahead of the ANC’s December elective conference.

Sanac spokesperson Kanya Ndaki confirmed yesterday that the council received the memorandum and that it would be delivered to its structures for further engagement.

“Yes, Sanac has accepted the memorandum and it will be delivered to Sanac structures,” Ndaki said.

Ndaki was however noncommittal when pressed further on when Sanac would provide feedback on the demand.

“I cannot give an undertaking, I’m not commenting on that.”

ANCYL national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize said he was aware of the ANCYL-aligned branch of the college delivering the memorandum on Monday.

He said the branch had a right to express its concerns about Ramaphosa being the face of the Aids council.

“They are well within their rights to execute their operations. We will allow branches to do the necessary work that they are doing,” Mkhize said.

However, Cosatu second deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe said he was “not surprised” that such a complaint would be raised against Ramaphosa on the eve of the ANC elective conference.

“The allegations came a few months back, then there was silence and now they have come back just before the conference. We are telling our members to remain resolute and this will not deter us from electing Ramaphosa as ANC president,” Phetoe said.

Phetoe also feared that such “smear campaigns” aimed at Ramaphosa would continue up until the conference kicked off.

“They will continue to happen just like they did with President Jacob Zuma in the run-up to Polokwane.

“For us as Cosatu, this is neither here or there. It’s just a smear-campaign.”

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Tyrone Seale said the deputy president would not be commenting on the matter.

“We won’t be commenting on this,” Seale said.