JOHANNESBURG- Pressure is mounting on President Cyril Ramaphosa to explain why he wasn’t sent to Robben Island and whether he did indeed sold-out other freedom fighters to the apartheid special branch. In his reply to the debate on his state of the nation address (SONA), Ramaphosa denied being an apartheid spy.
His response followed an explosive speech by Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota in Parliament this week when he accused Ramaphosa of selling him (Lekota) and other freedom activists out. During the debate on Wednesday on SONA, Lekota stunned all when he told an equally stunned Ramaphosa that he told apartheid special branch police that he (Lekota) and other freedom fighters had put communist ideas in his head.
Lekota said Ramaphosa had invited him on a trip last week but he declined his offer as his invitation was late as Ramaphosa should have joined him on a trip to Robben Island where most freedom fighters were condemned by the apartheid regime.
“When it was difficult, you wrote to the special branch, that we put communist ideas in your head. In doing so, you condemned us to the special branch. I say this to you because the special branch rewarded you as they always rewarded their victims and sent you home. We headed to Robben Island. This invitation you are issuing on Friday, you should have issued it then. We should have travelled together to the island to serve years for the struggle of our people,” Lekota said.
However, in his response on Thursday Ramaphosa denied ever been a spy for the apartheid regime and that he denied a request to be a state witness against Lekota and others. But Lekota and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are having none of it, and say Ramaphosa still hasn’t answered vital questions among them, why he was not sent to Robben Island and whether he had indeed written a letter to the special branch. In a statement, COPE national secretary Dennis Bloem said Ramaphosa’s explanations does not confirm or deny whether he wrote the letter(signed statement to the special branch.
“As a result of the “letter” (signed statement), Ramaphosa was allegedly released from detention and others were put on trial. That’s the choice he made. He threw them under the bus. Ramaphosa‘s response does not confirm or deny whether he wrote the “letter(signed statement) to the Special Branch or not. That’s the question he must answer. Did he or did he not write the letter and threw his comrades under the bus?” asked Bloem.
He added that Ramaphosa had told parliament that the special branch wanted him to become a state witness and testify against Lekota. “What did he confess to the special branch to make them convinced that he could make a good state witness?” Bloem argued that the special branch wanted Ramaphosa to repeat that Lekota had indeed put “communist ideas” in his head. In a statement, EFF MP Fana Mokoena also said Ramaphosa had evaded vital questions such as why he was not sent Robben Island.
Mokoena said these unanswered questions proved that Ramaphosa had indeed sold out to the special branch. Mokoena said another question that Ramaphosa had failed to answer was whether he had written a letter to the special branch. Mokoena said failure to answer these questions would amount to Ramaphosa admitting that he had sold out. On Wednesday, the EFF called for a judicial commission of inquiry into Lekota’s explosive claims, a call the party reiterated yesterday.
Read the full statement below: