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Zuma, Ramaphosa responses to recent marches raises questions

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JOHANNESBURG – Questions have been raised about President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa’s different responses to recent mass demonstrations against Zuma and how divisions in the African National Congress (ANC) are manifesting in government.

While the president has dismissed the marches as racist, Ramaphosa says leaders should listen to concerns raised by the protesters.

“Marches that took place last week demonstrated that racism is real.”

This was President Zuma’s reaction to the marches against him.

Ramaphosa doesn’t seem to agree with him.

“I think that what we should be doing as leaders is to listen to some of the concerns that are being raised by our people and reflect on the issues that they are raising.”

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says these disagreements should be expected as the ANC gears up for an elective conference later this year.

“Divisions in the ruling party translates into divisions in government.”

Ramaphosa’s first public disagreement with the president was over his recent Cabinet reshuffle, where the deputy president expressed unhappiness over the axing of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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