Phala Phala matter calls for President to step aside in line with ANC’s resolution: Sisulu

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Tourism Minister and African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) Member, Lindiwe Sisulu says the Phala Phala matter calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step aside from his position in line with the party’s ‘step aside’ resolution.

Sisulu was speaking to SABC Political Editor, Mzwandile Mbeje in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday on a variety of issues affecting the ANC and the country.

Sisulu has also called for the party’s December conference to look at a policy to regulate the use of money in the election of the ANC’s leaders and decried the state of the country’s collapsing infrastructure.

Phala Phala saga

Lindiwe Sisulu intends to put the Phala Phala matter on the agenda of the ANC NEC’s next meeting. She says that there needs to be a discussion on whether President Ramaphosa should step aside, claiming the policy is currently being applied selectively.

“I am uncomfortable with the way it is applied and I would propose as we go into the next conference anybody who we feel has serious allegations against them should step aside for instance the Phala Phala issue for me would call for that until all of us are quite certain that there is nothing wrong nothing illegal about that but for as long as it keeps hanging on the president it keeps hanging on everyone else it is not fair to us it is not fair to the President either.”

SABC Political Editor Mzwandile Mbeje in Conversation with Minister Lindiwe Sisulu:

Money for votes?

She says the ANC at its conference ought to pass a resolution regulating the use of money in the election of leaders.

Mbeje: Mme Sisulu I need to understand you very well are you saying that those supporting the President are using money for him to be elected?

Sisulu: No. I am saying that we need to stop the use of money and I am saying that Tokyo Sexwale is on record saying that the person who won finally the 2017 election won on money. So the person who has the bigger purse has the bigger chance of ascending. So it is no longer about the values of the ANC, it is about how much money people have.

Sisulu says that she will avail herself to run for the ANC’s Presidency should she reach the minimum threshold of support from 100 branches.

Israeli Embassy

She also expresses her disappointment with her party and President Cyril Ramaphosa for the lack of implementation of other resolutions taken by the party at past National Conferences.

She gave the example of how she was hung out to dry by President Cyril Ramaphosa and fellow party members when she attempted to downgrade the Israeli Embassy in South Africa to a liaison office in line with an ANC’s 2017 National Conference resolution.

“I expected him to come to my rescue it was a public matter everyone could see and I would have expected him to say look this is my minister and I am going to protect the resolutions of the ANC conference I was left dangling alone…Are you saying to me the President kept quiet…The President kept quiet. But as someone who was sitting there and being attacked did you say to him Mr President I am under pressure to say something… Do I need to tell you? You are sitting down?”

Eskom and load shedding

With regard to government performance, Sisulu laments the state of the country’s infrastructure particularly Eskom where load shedding has reached unprecedented levels. She says an urgent intervention is required.

“It was proposed in the 2020 annual review of the government a monitoring department monitoring method but what is monitored is the performance on paper not on the ground. So I think if we could make sure we change that to monitoring on the ground then we would get our bearings straight.”

Quizzed if she would consider being part of the cabinet should Ramaphosa take the ANC and country Presidencies and offer her a post – Sisulu simply replied, “I don’t know”.