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SONA 2023: ‘The list of empty promises is endless’ – ATM leader takes swipe at Ramaphosa

African Transformation Movement President, Vuyolwethu Zungula.

African Transformation Movement President, Vuyolwethu Zungula.

  • Vuyolwethu Zungula penned a scathing open letter about President Cyril Ramaphosa’s tenure.
  • Zungula said Ramaphosa made several empty promises.
  • The ATM leader was pivotal in the process leading up to Ramaphosa’s possible impeachment.

In February 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa themed his tenure as a new dawn, in which he hit all the right notes and promised South Africans heaven and earth.

Now, six years later, Ramaphosa finds himself in an embarrassing situation, while citizens spend much of their time without electricity.

This was how ATM leader Vuyolwethu Zungula summed Ramaphosa’s presidency ahead of his eighth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday.

“In hindsight, it is now clear that these were all lies to simply lure the voters to vote for his party in the 2019 national elections,” Zungula said in a scathing open letter.

In his letter, Zungula takes a swipe at Ramaphosa with regard to the country’s energy crisis and the recent Phala Phala scandal.

READ | SONA 2023: Pomp and ceremony is back as Ramaphosa to deliver load shedding-free speech

Phala Phala became a burning issue in June after the former director-general at the State Security Agency and former commissioner of correctional services, Arthur Fraser, opened a kidnapping and money laundering case against Ramaphosa, Presidential Protection Unit head Major-General Wally Rhoode, and Crime Intelligence members for allegedly concealing a burglary at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in February 2020.

The ATM led the charge against Ramaphosa and this subsequently led to the establishment of a panel which investigated whether Ramaphosa should be subjected to a process that could have led to his removal from office.

“The Independent Panel, comprised of a Former Chief Justice, a Judge and a Senior Counsel, was unanimous that Mr Ramaphosa has a prima facie case to answer in terms of violating his oath of office, flouting of SARB laws and regulations governing various aspects pertaining to foreign currency, probable tax evasion, failure to report a crime at his Phala Phala Farm and violating the Constitution by engaging in other paid work, to name but a few,” Zungula said.

Zungula added that, in the 2019 SONA, 500 000 housing units were promised – but, according to him, to date, just under 14 000 were delivered.

“There was also a smart city promised, near Lanseria Airport, where the earmarked land to this day remains a bush. The list of empty promises is endless.

“As recent as in Feb 2022, he promised a New Social Compact within 100 days, yet no less than [former] president Thabo Mbeki is on record as pointing out that this objective was also not met. Needless to mention, record high unemployment and load shedding,” he said.

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