Image:The South African
According to ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu and President Cyril Ramaphosa are not at odds.
He accused the media of promoting a “narrative” implying a fractured relationship.
Ramaphosa and Sisulu exchanged barbs following the presidency’s allegation that Sisulu had been “admonished” by the president for her controversial column two weeks ago in which she criticized the constitution, courts, and politicians.
In her column, titled “Hello, Mzansi,” she asks, “Have we seen justice?” Sisulu asserted that black judges are “mentally colonized Africans who have adopted the worldview and mindset of those who dispossessed their forefathers and mothers.”
According to the presidency, the minister expressed regret and repudiated her “unsubstantiated, harsh remarks” on the judiciary.
Sisulu, on the other hand, issued a statement claiming that at their meeting in Cape Town, Ramaphosa raised only one problem with the letter involving the judiciary.
She denied the piece will be retracted and distanced herself from the president’s assertions.
The situation took an unexpected turn when the presidency stated that it would make no further remark because it stood by its allegations about the minister’s “apology.”
Mabe stated on Sunday in an interview with the SABC that the exchange between Sisulu and Ramaphosa should not be taken as a quarrel between the two top ANC members.
“We will not participate in a media story implying a spat. We believe there was no public altercation. I’m going to leave it up to the media to make their own interpretations of what transpired out there,” Mabe stated.
He would not disclose whether ANC officials have made calls for Sisulu’s punishment, arguing that the party could not have spent two days of its lekgotla summit debating the minister’s behavior.
“It is not my responsibility as the ANC’s national spokesperson to validate rumours. That is not what I do. A self-respecting organization such as the ANC would never spend two days debating an individual NEC member. We have a great deal to address. South Africans are yearning for work,” he stated.
Ramaphosa, without identifying the minister, separated the ANC from harsh remarks made about the constitution during his closing address following the lekgotla.
“In our country, counter-revolution is taking on a new face. Certain manifestations of democracy are imperiled as a result of the absence of an ethical compass and moral direction. The ANC and the [Tripartite] Alliance would like to reiterate our commitment to the constitution, the bill of rights, and the judiciary. We disassociate ourselves from narratives that seek to undermine the transformational intent and outcomes,” Ramaphosa stated.
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