The second day of debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) was harsher towards President Cyril Ramaphosa than the first – not only because of government’s failures but allegations directed at him personally.

Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota labelled Ramaphosa a ‘sell-out.’

When the COPE leader took to the podium, the President had stepped out. Lekota requested to speak only when Ramaphosa was back.

Lekota then accused Ramaphosa of selling out some of those in detention to the security police.

“With us in detention, when it was difficult, you wrote to the Special Branch that we put communist ideas in your head. In doing so, you condemned us to the Special Branch. I say this to you because the Special Branch rewarded you, as they always reward their ‘victims’ (sic) and they sent you home, and we headed to Robben Island.”

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi came to Ramaphosa’s defence.

Motsoaledi questioned Lekota on the reasons why he campaigned for Ramaphosa to become Secretary General of the ANC in the early 1990s. The minister says they had another preferred candidate, but they listened to Lekota as they had high regard for him.

“In 1991, when Ramaphosa was standing as the SG of the ANC, you are one of the people who came to mobilise us to vote for him. Why did you want ANC to vote for a sell-out when you knew that he was a sell-out, he sold you at Robben Island. Young people wanted Alfred Nzo, but we listened to you because we are from the UDF (United Democratic Front) era.”

The ANC appeared to be unfazed by Lekota’s allegations.

Minister of Women in the Presidency, Bathabile Dlamini, said it is all about the upcoming elections.

In another development, some of the opposition continued attacking Ramaphosa about Eskom’s woes.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) meanwhile has suggested that a Commission of Inquiry be set up to probe allegations that Ramaphosa sold out his comrades during apartheid.

EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu says these allegations are not coming up for the first time.

“…And we do so because the allegations of your collaboration are not coming up for the first time. When you applied for the membership of the Communist Party, in the early 1990s, there was an investigation internally, which concluded in the positive that you were having questionable security arrangements in the 70s and 80s. So, perhaps to clear the air, we cannot have a questionable relationship with apartheid Special Branch.”

However, the Minister of State Security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba refuted the statement made by Shivambu that the SACP concluded positively that Ramaphosa had a relationship with apartheid Security Branch.

Freedom Front Plus (FF+)leader, Pieter Groenewald questioned Ramaphosa’s efforts  in addressing load shedding. “But honorable President,  you became the deputy president of the ANC in 2012,  you became the deputy president of South Africa in 2014,  so where were you,  what did you do in the 5-7 years,  in these nine years that has cost South Africa dearly,  its tax payers…  you president are complicit to the loss of these nine  years whether you like it or not.”

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Reverend Kenneth Moshoe says;” Load shedding sends a negative message on potential investors who would be concerned about loss of production time and revenue chair the crisis at Eskom has caused public.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa will respond to the debate on Thursday.


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