The second day of debate on the State of the Nation (SONA) was harsher towards President Cyril Ramaphosa than the first – not only because of government’s failures but allegations directed at him personally. Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa labelled Ramaphosa a ‘sell-out.
’ When the COPE leader took to the podium, the President had stepped out. Lekota requested to speak only when Ramaphosa was back. Lekota then accused Ramaphosa of selling out some of those in detention to the security police.
“With us in detention, 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 reward their ‘victims’ (sic) and they sent you home, and we headed to Robben Island.
” Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi came to Ramaphosa’s defence. Motsoaledi questioned Lekota on the reasons why he campaigned for Ramaphosa to become Secretary General of the ANC in the early 1990s. The minister says they had another preferred candidate, but they listened to Lekota as they had high regard for him.
“In 1991, when Ramaphosa was standing as the SG of the ANC, you are one of the people who came to mobilise us to vote for him.