‘Your president has committed treason’ – Zuma takes swipe at Ramaphosa

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“Your president has committed treason!” Those were the words of former president Jacob Zuma charging at President Cyril Ramaphosa during a media briefing in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Addressing the media for the first time since his official release from prison earlier this month, Zuma took at swipe at Ramaphosa saying doing business on the side while he was still the president was unconstitutional.

“No president should conduct private business while in office. It is not allowed! Our countries’ problems are too big for a president who is busy who hustling on the side.”

Zuma says the suspension of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has only made matters worse for Ramaphosa’s case, alleging that the suspension was cover up for the Phala-Phala farm gate.

“To add insult to injury, the Western Cape High Court has found that the president went further and suspended the public protector for the sole purpose of covering up his Phala-Phala corruption,” charged Zuma.

Former President Jacob Zuma accuses President Cyril Ramaphosa of committing treason:

In September, the Western Cape High Court declared the decision by President Ramaphosa to suspend Mkhwebane invalid and set it aside.

Advocate Dali Mpofu announced the court decision during the Parliamentary Inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

Mkhwebane’s suspension was subsequently set aside effectively from Friday, 9 September 2022, after she had launched an application in the high court.

Mkhwebane was suspended in June and is currently participating in a hearing which seeks to look at her fitness to hold office.

Zuma has also criticised the government’s intention to unbundle Eskom saying it is an irresponsible act. Addressing the media in Johannesburg for the first time since he was released from prison Zuma says his government ended loadshedding in 2015.

“Eskom is now being surrendered to international commercial interests for them to profit from our people’s need for electricity. In other words, those who are in charge of the country are taking the property of the country, doing business for themselves (probably with) their friends, wherever they are.”

Zuma spent three months in jail for contempt of court after he refused to continue with his testimony at the State Capture Commission, last year.

He was sentenced to 15 months and later granted medical parole.

Zuma maintains that his administration fixed Eskom.

“Loadshedding started immediately after certain agreements were concluded with Independent Power Producers. Why does the correct leadership fail to get handle of the issues of Eskom?”

Former President Zuma’s media briefing:

President Cyril Ramaphosa has previously reiterated that the unbundling of Eskom is not the path to privatisation. Ramaphosa says it is rather a move towards stemming the need for power cuts and increasing investor confidence.

Zuma claims he was the victim of the State Capture Commission chairperson, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

He was heavily implicated in the testimony of numerous witnesses at the commission.

Earlier this month, the presidency received the amended version of the State Capture report, which incorporated corrections made by Chief Justice Zondo.

The presidency says those implicated in the report are well within their rights to take it on review but work has already started in processing its recommendations.

Zuma claimed at the media briefing that the commission was established to target him.

“Zondo was himself continuously making statements that suggested that he had already concluded that I was guilty of everything that I was accused of.”

Zuma established the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in January 2018.

In December of 2017, the High Court in Pretoria ordered that the public protector’s remedial action was binding and that Zuma had to appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days, headed by a judge selected solely by then Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.