Up until this last week, President Cyril
Ramaphosa seemed somewhat isolated within his own party. The swirling
controversies surrounding the CR17 donations saga had left him exposed and
vulnerable – at least if you believed the Twitter-centred onslaught against him
which even resulted in a venomous yet trending #ramaphosamustfall hashtag.
By the end of the week, it all looked
marginally better. Jessie Duarte, secretary general of the ANC, penned a
defence of her president. The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal backed Ramaphosa in a public
statement against the “sustained public assault” against him.
In addition, there were legal fightbacks
from Ramaphosa-aligned supporters like Derek Hanekom and Lesetja Kganyago suing former president Jacob
Zuma and ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa respectively for
adding to the toxic domestic debate.
Still, it all seemed a little thin. The ANC
was attempting a band-aid job to patch up a wounded president who also seemed
caught in the headlights of these internecine battles raging around him.
And, with the rand crashing and equity
markets in turmoil, it took a somewhat frustrated Pravin Gordhan to make an
unsolicited call to Bruce Whitfield’s Money Show to calm jittery investor
nerves and prop-up a mooted restructuring plan for Eskom soon to be announced
by the president.
Despite some internal ANC support for the president,
Ramaphosa remains at the helm of a very unstable ship. Over the next few
months, there are at least five flashpoints which are likely to test ANC unity
to the hilt. Considering the