Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma on Friday hit out at his successor Cyril Ramaphosa, saying he was trying to please the country’s white minority by accusing the ruling ANC party of rampant corruption.

In a country with deep rooted racial divisions, despite the demise of apartheid in 1994, Zuma’s broadside is bound to create waves in Nelson Mandela’s “Rainbow Nation”.

Ramaphosa last weekend penned an open letter to party members saying the African National Congress must face the “stark reality” that the party stands as “accused number one” for corruption.

Several ANC members are being investigated for corruption involving the procurement of coronavirus supplies in the continent’s worst-hit country.

Zuma replied in Friday In a scathing 11-page letter of his own, describing Ramaphosa’s comments as “fundamentally flawed” and an excuse to save the president’s face and appease his white backers.

“I implore you to take responsibility without insulting our movement and its members, who have committed no crime of corruption as they sit waiting for the ever-elusive better life for all,” said Zuma in his leaked letter, cited by local media.

Zuma — who faces several graft accusations linked to his nine years in power and even before he became president — said Ramaphosa’s letter was unprecedented.

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“Mr President you are indeed the first president of the ANC to stand in public and accuse the ANC of criminality and that the ANC must be the accused number 1 as accusations of corruption mount”.

“It is individuals from the ANC who must bury their heads in shame, not the ANC, our glorious movement”.

“I view your letter as a diversion, a public relations exercise by which you accuse the entire ANC in order to save your own skin,” said Zuma.

He accused Ramaphosa of writing the letter “for your own desires to plead for white validation and approval”.

Zuma said he was aware that his response would be “misconstrued as an attempt to ignore allegations levelled against me”.

Corruption is far from new in South Africa, but it worsened at state institutions during Zuma’s tenure.

Zuma was forced to resign in February 2018 over graft scandals, while his successor Ramaphosa took over vowing to turn over a new leaf.

The ANC spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent to his phone.

[AFP]

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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