DURBAN (Reuters) – Political economist Moeletsi Mbeki said those who theorize that President Cyril Ramaphosa is in danger of being ousted after next month's general elections are "talking nonsense."
"The ANC is an institution, it is not run by individuals – as all institutions are not run by individuals … then the impact of individuals on an institution – yes, they do have a role, they have an impact, but not an impact fundamental policy, "Mbeki said.
He was speaking to the Africa News Agency (ANA) at the Hilton Hotel in Durban on Tuesday, where he was due to appear as part of a panel at an event organized by the Xubera Research and Development Institute.
The people who said they supported Ramaphosa, but not the ANC, and would vote like that in the ANC because of Ramaphosa, were experiencing "despair for a messiah," he said.
"They know that Cyril was elected by the ANC and there were resolutions that he has to implement that were approved [at the December 2017 ANC] conference, and he is implementing them, such as land expropriation, relegation of the embassy in Israel, etc.
"This is how institutions work. He is not free to do whatever he wants. He was not elected as an individual.
"Donald Trump was elected as an individual, so he can have his policies, admittedly within the limitations of the Republican Party. But Trump can negotiate with the Republican Party.
"Cyril does not have room to negotiate because he was not elected by the people as an individual," Mbeki said, and therefore there was no need for Ramaphosa to be removed.
Those who say that the president would be removed to end, for example, the Commission of Inquiry into Capture of the State, chaired by Vice President Raymond Zondo, should remember that the commission was "created by the public protector," he said.
The commission had to be established because constitutionally the recommendations of the public protector are mandatory, he said.
Likewise, those who say Ramaphosa had gotten rid of the controversial former head of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Tom Moyane, should remember that Judge Robert Nugent recommended that Moyane be dismissed immediately. "Cyril was hesitant and doing nothing," Mbeki said.
These punitive theories about having to vote for Ramaphosa were "living on cuckoo land," Mbeki said.
"The white and black middle class is benefiting from the status quo, so they are telling people to vote for Cyril to maintain this status quo," he said.
African News Agency (ANA)