The Zumaphosa Monitor

by The Editor


Search as hard as you can, you won’t final a single critical word from President Cyril Ramaphosa about former President Jacob Zuma. That’s the Jacob Zuma, the man who brought South Africa to the brink. What you will find, however, is praise, and a lot of it. The Zumaphosa Monitor is designed to track everything Ramaphosa has said about Jacob Zuma in the hope that, one day, he might actually have a critical word to say directly about the former President. When he does, it will shut down.

The Zumaphosa Monitor

By: Gareth van Onselen


11 January 2019

The Zumaphosa Monitor has two parts. Part A is a Bromance Cloud, combining the key words of praise from Ramaphosa about Zuma over the years and which, together, define Ramaphosa’s public opinion of Zuma. Part B are all the individual quotes from Ramaphosa, about Zuma, on which the Bromance Cloud is based. The Monitor will be updated as and when necessary.

The Zumaphosa Bromance Cloud

I see him as a very strong president. A president who has led from the front. He is so politically mature that he is able to work with those people. President Zuma continues watering the tree of unity. Action man Jacob Zuma is going to make sure that this country moves forward. There was no corruption, nothing to do with Nkandla was unlawful. The integrity of the president remains intact and that this president has the ability and know-how to lead our government and South Africa going forward. I thought he did a really good job. The depth of knowledge and experience that the president has is quite enormous and I was very privileged. What I do know is that the president respects this House. He has deep respect for this House. I appreciate your guidance and your wisdom in leading us. I wish to thank him for his service to the nation during his two terms as President of the Republic, during which the country made significant progress in several areas of development. History will record that it was at your insistence that South Africa expanded its antiretroviral programme rapidly and progressively to be the largest in the world. We will miss your jokes, the sweets you distributed to us and the wonderful conversations we have had. We should never, ever humiliate President Zuma — that is one thing that we are very clear on. We want our members to desist from booing and insulting and showing disrespect to the leaders of the ANC. It is even more special when I am working with Comrade Jacob Zuma. He is still a leader in the broad ANC that can play a role in helping us to unite the ANC.

The Quotes

Zuma the strong leader
“I don’t see President Zuma as being beleaguered. I see him as a very strong president. A president who has led from the front. What he has done that is most outstanding and prominent in my mind is delivering to the nation the National Development Plan.” [eNCA; Interview with deputy president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa; 22 December 2012]

Zuma the mature leader
“You know President Zuma is one of the few presidents that I know who has been able to work with people who he knows don’t support him entirely, and people who are saying we want regime change. He has been able, not only to invite them into his Cabinet but to even elevate them in his Cabinet. He is so politically mature that he is able to work with those people.” [eNCA; Interview with deputy president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa; 22 December 2012]

Zuma the unifying leader
“The sermon of unity will continue. The seeds were long planted. And President Zuma continues watering the tree of unity.” [eNCA; Interview with deputy president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa; 22 December 2012]

Zuma the man of action
“Talk time is over, we want action and action man Jacob Zuma is going to make sure that this country moves forward. Right now our ‘Mr Action’, Jacob Zuma, is very committed.” [Speaking at an ANC forum in Pietermaritzburg, Cyril Ramaphosa, 11 January 2013]

Zuma the innocent leader
There was no corruption, nothing to do with Nkandla was unlawful. The ‘fire pool’ is not even as big as an Olympic swimming pool.” [Die Burger, Cyril Ramaphosa. At an ANC meeting and following the release of the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla, 17 March 2014]

Zuma the leader with integrity and know-how
We are saying that the integrity of the president remains intact and that this president has the ability and know-how to lead our government and South Africa going forward.” [The Herald; Interview with Cyril Ramaphosa in Port Elizabeth after an ANC election rally and following the release of the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla; 24 March 2014]

Zuma the great performer
It was wonderful also to listen to the President, who I have worked with for many, many years, delivering his further state of the nation address, and <emI thought he did a really good job.” [Political Edge; Interview with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa; 22 June 2014]

Zuma the knowledgable and experienced leader
“All of this [chairing the cabinet lekgotla] happened while the President was working at home. So, I had access to him and I was able to talk to him and get good tips from him… just tips on how to handle all these matters that were coming up for debate and discussion and the depth of knowledge and experience that the president has is quite enormous and I was very privileged.” [SABC Interview with Cyril Ramaphosa on the State of the Nation address; 22 June 2014]

Zuma the leader with respect for parliament
“When he appeared here, members of this very House prevented the president from answering all the questions that he wanted to answer, so what more do you want? What I do know is that the president respects this House. He has deep respect for this House… I want to call upon members of the opposition parties to be respectful to the president of the republic, to be respectful to the office of the president of the republic.” [Defending Jacob Puma’s refusal to appear for oral questions in the National Assembly, Cyril Ramaphosa, 5 November 2014]

Zuma the wise leader
We thank you for being steadfast in your resolve to lead our people despite those who would divert you… I appreciate your guidance and your wisdom in leading us.” [Speaking in Parliament, Cyril Ramaphosa, 27 May 2015]

Zuma the leader who delivered
“I would like, on your behalf, to thank President Jacob Zuma for the 10 years he has spent as the President of our movement and for a lifetime of service to the people of this country. It was during your tenure Nxamalala, and thanks to your vision, that the National Planning Commission was established and produced the country’s first National Development Plan. This is a framework for economic and social change that will guide our country for many years to come. History will record that it was at your insistence that South Africa expanded its antiretroviral programme rapidly and progressively to be the largest in the world. Through your intervention, we have made great strides in combating the epidemic, many lives have been saved and many infections prevented. We cannot close this, the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress, without paying tribute to you for your contribution over many decades to the struggle for freedom, democracy and development.” [Closing address to the ANC’s 54th national conference, Cyril Ramaphosa, 21 December 2017]

Zuma the charming leader
We will miss your jokes, the sweets you distributed to us and the wonderful conversations we have had.” [Closing address to the ANC’s 54th national conference, Cyril Ramaphosa, 21 December 2017]

Zuma the vulnerable leader
We should never, ever humiliate President Zuma — that is one thing that we are very clear on.” [Cyril Ramaphosa, 14 January 2018]

Zuma the leader deserving of respect
“We should never have a situation where we subject any of the deployees of the ANC to humiliation. We want our members to desist from booing and insulting and showing disrespect to the leaders of the ANC. Public display of disapproval of anyone through booing is something we want to rid the ANC of.” [Daily News, defending Jacob Zuma, who was recently booed, in an interview with the SABC, Cyril Ramaphosa, 15 January 2018]

Zuma the patriotic leader of progress
“I also wish to extend a word of gratitude to former President Jacob Zuma for the manner in which he approached this difficult and sensitive process. I wish to thank him for his service to the nation during his two terms as President of the Republic, during which the country made significant progress in several areas of development.” [State of The Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa, 16 February 2018]

Zuma the cooperative leader
“I don’t know where they get that from because there’s no shouting at each other between myself and Zuma.” [EWN, in response to reports he was scheduled to confront Zuma at a meeting, Cyril Ramaphosa, 8 January 2019]

Zuma the special leader
It is even more special when I am working with Comrade Jacob Zuma, who I worked with for many years. He is still a leader in the broad ANC that can play a role in helping us to unite the ANC.” [Campaigning with Jacob Zuma in KwaZulu-Natal, Cyril Ramaphosa, 8 January 2019]

Zuma the learned leader
“He is now a former president, I will use him … former presidents have experience and knowledge.” [Delivering the ANC’s 8 January statement, Cyril Ramaphosa, 8 January 2019]

Photo via @presidencyZA/(Twitter)

Gareth van Onselen (@GvanOnselen) is the head of Politics and Governance at the South African Institute for Race Relations and the Editor of Inside Politics (@insidepols)

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