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Ramaphobia will produce a monster that is stronger and...

Defend Truth


Ramaphobia will produce a monster that is stronger and more vile


Thamsanqa D Malinga is director at Mkabayi Management Consultants; a writer, columnist, and political commentator, as well as author of Blame Me on Apartheid and A Dream Betrayed.

Those who spew hatred towards President Cyril Ramaphosa on social media should consider the options for his replacement — and understand that it’s up to us to change our destiny.

The daily anti-Ramaphosa noise that clogs social media platforms has once again got me interested in how South African citizens are quick to jump on a bandwagon without really applying their minds and looking at the bigger picture.

Oddly, Ramaphobia is one social media “uprising” that has been sustained by black Twitter. Other issues just seem to fizzle out within a week — be it a condescending campaign by a brand, a racist incident or any other vitriol that denigrates black people, black Twitter will be enraged for a few hours and then, like a rugby ball, simply toss it over to the Economic Freedom Fighters. They in turn will later be accused of taking a bribe or being selective on which cause to tackle.

But back to Ramaphobia. The moniker of the “White Monopoly Capital stooge” has stuck like a rotten slice of polony to a wall. (If you have seen student protests against rotten food served at the cafeteria, you will know how well a slice of polony sticks when thrown against a wall. I hasten to add, though, that I am not owning up to any form of campus student rampage!)

If you compiled a list of the anti-Ramaphosa tweets, I imagine you would fill enough volumes to easily surpass anything in Guinness World Records. Right now, the record holder is Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past which is just over 9½ million characters. Not a day passes without black Twitterati taking a swipe at poor Matamela, the Pied Piper who rode into town on a white stallion coming to rid South Africa of the mess it’s in.

The people sang, “Phakama Ramaphosa, ixesha lifikile” (Rise Ramaphosa, the time has arrived). Now they spit, piss, and throw stones at this “saviour”, even those who sang for his ascendence. The poor guy is probably living each day with the thought of an “Et tu, Brute?”’ moment lingering in his mind.

I am not writing to sing his praises or to lobby pity for “Nelson Mandela’s heir apparent”, the title bestowed on him by the media as he was heading for Nasrec. What gives me sleepless nights is pondering whether those riding on the Ramaphobia train realise that he is the least of black people’s problems. The man, albeit that there have been questions about how his campaign was funded, was elected by an ANC conference after having campaigned throughout the country in ANC branches, and at regional and provincial conferences.

People can shout until Jesus returns — if he ever will — about the buying of votes, delegates being put up in hotels, and the movement’s emerging leader being funded and controlled by Stellenbosch. The truth of the matter is that those who were allegedly bought were ANC delegates. They, like everyone else, were seeing their ticket to the proverbial gravy train. Perhaps these days we should call it the black, green and gold five-star cruise ship. It is one that needs to hit an iceberg — pretty soon.

But back to all the hate being piled on Ramaphosa. Those calling him names and those calling for his removal need to ask, who if not the so-called anti-black Matamela? Perhaps his second-in-command, DD Mabuza — the man known as the sly cat? Really? The brother took leave just after being appointed. Apparently, he wanted to clear his name, but since then he’s barely been seen. This is the supposed leader of government business and the man in charge of the vaccine roll-out. He recently took more “sick leave” and went to Russia for medical reasons, leaving a country battling with a failed vaccine roll-out. Has he perhaps gone to get his jab of the Sputnik vaccine?

Who else would be on our list? Ace Magashule? Tell me you are joking. A Jacob Zuma on steroids, with age on his side. I know JZ is now the darling of black Twitter, the “father of RET” he is called. Well sorry, I don’t buy into that narrative. Yes, we need RET and it’s an ANC policy meant for good, but the majority of those riding the crest of that wave have empty bags lined up to collect the loot. As Spike Lee would say, “That’s the truth, Ruth!”

Who else? Please come up with a name. The minister of health is on “special leave” with corruption allegations hovering over him like vultures. The deputy minister of intelligence sat at the Zondo Commission and spewed bilge about a “loan” from a friend and claimed he is poor — what an insult to the young people who fall in the 74% unemployed brigade.

In every government of the ANC, officials have been embroiled in corruption allegations but have faced no consequences. Tony Yengeni doesn’t count as it was reported he had conjugal visits while incarcerated. Okay, let me not go there. 

Allow me to ask, “Whom shall we send, and who will go for us?” The answer is no one in the current ANC. Ramaphosa is the least of our problems. The leadership vacuum and the unabated avarice and maleficence in the ruling movement, compounded by its arrogance, unaccountability and apparent sense of entitlement to South Africa and its fiscus as the movement’s and officials’ piggy bank is our problem as black people.

“Tell no lies and claim no easy victories.” Didn’t OR Tambo quote Cabral on this? Well, let me tell no lies. Ramaphobia will produce a monster that is stronger and more vile. This so-called broad church has shown us over time what we can expect. What we need to do is ask ourselves, what kind of a country do we want our kids to inherit? Then we will realise what power lies in us to change our destiny. DM


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  • I can’t see a successor. I wonder where the social media is getting their anti-Ramaphosa fuel from, and why they believe it so easily. Also; stay off social media, for your sanity!

  • Thank you for this insight into twitter – a realm i avoid because i just can’t cope with any more screen time than i have already, with trying to keep vaguely in touch with what is going on! I fully agree that our president is the best / only person to hold the hot seat for now. We have to trust his softly softly approach and give him the support he needs

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