By Matuma Letsoalo, 14 January 2014

The ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa says the ANC will not tolerate its supporters preventing other parties from campaigning.

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the behaviour of ANC supporters who attacked Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members, including its leader Julius Malema, who went to Nkandla to hand over a house to President Jacob Zuma’s neighbour, who has been staying in a mud house for years.

About 30 ANC supporters were arrested after they clashed with EFF members near Zuma’s Nkandla home. Zuma’s son, Edward, was reportedly among the ANC supporters, who attacked Malema and his supporters. Police fired rubber bullets and used a water cannon and tear gas against ANC members who threw stones and water bottles at Malema when he arrived to hand over an EFF-built house to the elderly Nkandla woman and her grandchildren.

Ramaphosa said the ANC would never tolerate a situation where party members blocked the activities of other political parties.

“There should never be a no-go area for any leader in South Africa. After all, we are all contestants. Nobody should think they own a section of our society. We will not tolerate ANC supporters blocking leaders of other political formation from campaigning freely,” said Ramaphosa during an interview on Justice Malala’s show on eNCA on Monday.

On Monday, eNCA reported Zuma also condemned the violence. Addressing the New Age business breakfast in Nelspruit on Monday, Zuma reportedly said he had been informed that Malema tried to walk into his homestead but was stopped by security personnel. According to eNCA, he said there was “nothing wrong” with Malema’s assistance of a poor person, even in Nkandla.

Zille blocked
It was not the first time ANC supporters attacked opposition leaders visiting Nkandla. Last year, they prevented Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille from inspecting Zuma’s home.

Ramaphosa also said on the show that he did not believe the spending of more than R200-million on the upgrade of Zuma’s home would have an impact on the ANC during the elections. “The ANC is going to surprise all of us during the elections. I am not worried about the level of support for the ANC. We are going to do better.

“We should have released the [interministerial] report on Nkandla much earlier so that the people can debate it,” said Ramaphosa.

He called on public protector Thuli Madonsela to release her report on Nkandla with speed. Extracts of Madonsela’s provisional report, which was leaked to the media late last year, found that Zuma personally benefited from the R206-million security upgrade at his Nkandla homestead.

Asked if he was ready to serve as deputy president of the country after this year’s elections, Ramaphosa said: “I am a disciplined member of the ANC. I will do what the ANC says I should do. If the ANC wants me to continue to serve as ANC deputy president, I will do so. If it wants me to go and serve in government, I will do so.”