Following yet another explosive revelation by WeeklyXpose of emails linking Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to a string of extra-marital affairs with young women, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe took offence and called WeeklyXpose founder and owner Kenny Kunene.
In a story published on Wednesday 18 October, WeeklyXpose revealed how Ramaphosa, who is also the Chairperson of the SA National Aids Council (Sanac) and an outspoken critic of sugar daddies’ and “blessers”, did not see anything wrong in using events of SANAC to target young women for his own sexual pleasure, leaked emails reveal. The emails show that Ramaphosa met one of the eight women he is romantically-linked with, a photographer whose identity cannot be revealed at a World AIDS Day event in December 2015 when the woman was 21-years old.
The emails reveal that the woman, who at the time was pursuing a degree in Drama and Therapy at Wits University, started communicating seriously with Ramaphosa since early 2016 after their meeting at World Aids Day event in December 2015. Kunene told WeeklyXpose that whenever his online publication has an exclusive story, he sends it via WhatsApp to all his more than 3000 contacts on his cell-phone to generate debate.
“I did the same with the story we ran on Wednesday about the deputy president. Since the SG is one of my contacts, he received the story. Unfortunately, this did not go down well with him. I was surprised when I received a WhatsApp call from him at 21h43 in which he warned me in no uncertain terms to refrain from sending him messages,” said the businessman. “Kunene said Mantashe followed this up with a WhatsApp message saying “Please don’t send me these dirty tricks message. I’m begging you.”
To which Kunene replied: “I am surprised that you would call a well-researched, factual story backed by evidence which Cyril never denied dirty tricks. I will however respect your wish.” Mantashe responded: “Please I am asking you to respect my views and I must continue respecting you.” Kunene said Mantashe’s call and his subsequent messages were a clear proof that he has abandoned his neutrality as the ANC secretary general and was taking sides in the ruling party’s succession battle. “This was evident in his recent speeches and tweets when he tried to strip off ANC branches of their democratic right to elect a leader of their choice.”
Kunene was referring to the recent controversy sparked by Mantashe when during which he was accused of being factional when he attempted to strong-arm President Jacob Zuma into endorsing his second-in-command Cyril Ramaphosa as his successor. Addressing United African Apostolic Church members last month, Mantashe generated controversy when he said a torrent of “crisis” would sweep through the ANC if President Jacob Zuma did not “hand over” the leadership baton to Ramaphosa at the party’s December elective conference.
This was later reported on his Twitter feed. “If Pres Zuma‚ with experience‚ refuses to handover to DP‚ we will be in a crisis. Let us find a woman to be DP‚ for succession to be managed‚” the tweet from Mantashe’s account said. A tweet from Mantashe’s account read: “There’s a theory of a woman President. That’s strange. We want a President of the ANC‚ male or female.” In another tweet, Mantashe suggested that the ANC should elect a woman as deputy president in December “for succession to be managed”.
Mantashe also threw cold water on ANC Women’s League, who have made it public that it was time for a woman leader. The ANCWL has thrown its weight behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. “If a sitting deputy president cannot take over from the incumbent‚ the organisation is owed an explanation‚” said Mantashe. Kunene said: “The SG of the ANC is a very crucial position that demands an impartial individual, considering the fact that Mantashe is entrusted with auditing the branches who attend ANC elective conferences. How can he be trusted to be impartial in this crucial role when he has already exposed his factional tendencies and his preferred candidate,” asked Kunene.
“More than anything else, the call and messages I received from Mantashe make it clear that he is not interested in any wrongdoing by the Deputy President when there’s overwhelming evidence that he used his position of power and his massive wealth to prey on young women. In pursuit of his factional agenda, Mantashe has evidently lost the principles of morality, religion and political leadership, important attributes required of a man in his position. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe once warned Zimbabweans to never trust a trade unionist to lead the country. I now see what he meant,” Kunene said.