Following his bungled shot at the ANC’s provincial leadership, regime change leader Mpho Ramakatsa is reported to have joined new splinter party, South Africa First (SAF), which has been formed by a clique of former members of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.
Ramakatsa had initially declared his intentions to challenge premier Ace Magashule for the chairmanship of the ANC Free State province, but was stopped in his tracks when he and his branch were disqualified from taking part in the repeat elective conference in Welkom two weeks ago, for failing to meet pre-conference requirements.
Magashule retained his position unopposed, and so did four other members of the provincial executive committee (PEC) that had been disbanded by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) following a Constitutional Court ruling that annulled last year’s provincial conference and ordered a rerun of the Parys meeting. This, after a court battle instituted by Ramakatsa and five others.
With his branch having been thrown out into the cold ahead of May 10 – 12 conference, Ramakatsa cried foul and hinted at challenging this determination in the courts of law, yet again.
Sources close to him told this paper The Weekly that after apparently realising, that this too would be an exercise in futility and that the ANC masses would eventually see him for the megalomaniac power-monger that he is, the former MK man has followed fellow political misfits from the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), led by Eddie Mkhwanazi, to the refuge of the nascent party which many believe is doomed to become a stillborn anyway.
The writing has always been on the wall for Ramakatsa. He could not get support from his own structure of the MKMVA when he approached the court to invalidate the conference, and was dumped by one of his closest allies Gregory Nthatisi, who was himself reported to be harbouring dreams to contest the provincial chairmanship at some stage.
Nthatisi made it clear last year in an interview with The Free State Times that he was not supporting Ramakatsa’s court battle for the leadership of the ANC.
On the eve of the conference, ANC members had predicted that Ramakatsa and his cronies were in the process of announcing their resignation from the ANC following their ill-fated bid to oust Magashule.
Modise Kotu had told The Weekly that the vanquished Ramakatsa would not wait another four years for a chance to be elected to the leadership of the ANC, but would exit with his tail between the legs.
“The entire Free State has wised up to his shenanigans. He is simply power-hungry. If there were irregularities (in the Parys conference), why didn’t he raise his concerns through the proper channels? Why would six people falsely claim to represent thousands of ANC members?
“We have seen them for who they really are and branches have spoken in one voice not to give them a chance to serve in the ANC, because we are convinced that they have an ulterior motive to divide the organisation.
All the six so-called disgruntled members were advised that they would have some semblance of sanity left and would still be respected by their supporters if they left peacefully. We know that they are now recruiting members for that new party of theirs, which will not stand any chance against the ANC anyway,” said Kotu.
In the run-up to the Welkom conference, MKMVA leader, Kebby Maphatsoe, berated the recruiting of war veterans to the SAF party, which he called “an organ of the counter-revolution”, adding that the movement was under attack by “enemies of the revolution sponsoring formation of splinter groups led by former members of the liberation movement.”
Maphatsoe castigated the leader of the SAF, Eddie Mkhwanazi, for trying to associate his party with the ANC’s disbanded military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe. He said the formation of SAF by former members of MK was an act of counter-revolution.
“Therefore, Eddie Mokhoanatse and his fellow travellers, have no right to associate the creation of his power-hungry imagination with former combatants of the glorious peoples’ army, Umkhonto we Sizwe. It is important to note that Eddie Mokhoanatse, aka Alex Mashinini, deserted the ANC in the eighties.
While he was deployed in the German Democratic Republic, he skipped to the Federal Republic of Germany attracted by the shine of good life and bright life, while the rest of the comrades stood firm in their posts.
“Upon his return to South Africa, MKMVA tried to embrace him in its structures, with the understanding that he might not have had the backbone to withstand the rigours of tough life as an ANC activist in exile,” added Maphatsoe.
Maphatsoe anticipated that that there would be no serious wooing of MKMVA members in all parts of the country. He dismissed the formation of the party as not being about delivery to the people, but power-hunger and self-enrichment.
“There have been many attempts by the enemy forces throughout the history of our liberation to divide our revolutionary movement. Therefore, the launch of this political party is yet another attempt by the enemy to bring divisions within the ranks of our members.
We accept the fact that our constitution gives access to our citizens to belong to any political party of their choice. However, the attempts to destroy the ANC and its revolutionary alliance have failed on a number of occasions.
“Most of them who want to form a splinter group are those who failed at our last congress to be elected in the leadership of the MKMVA. Today they want to parade with fake credentials to betray the cause of the struggles of our people. We are not shaken by the opportunistic tendencies by these agent provocateurs who want to reverse the tremendous achievements of our national democratic revolution. They have distinguished themselves to be the best representatives of counter revolution.
The enemy has intoxicated them with the taste of nectar of power; they have been intoxicated to sell our revolution to the highest bidder. They have sold the souls and the future prospects of our people. They have chosen to betray the cause of our revolution,” said Maphatsoe.
He said MKMVA leaders such as Ramakatsa and Mokhoanatse joined the ANC for personal enrichment.
“From the first day, this group of agent provocateurs was never genuine members of our movement. Their brief has been to infiltrate and destroy the ANC and the struggles for our liberation. They have failed and they will fail today and tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, The Weekly approached Ramakatsa for comment, but he was unwilling to talk to the paper, as he hung up the phone.