Cyril Ramaphosa preaches unity in KwaZulu-Natal, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at his side
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and his former rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Monday made their first high-profile public appearance together since the ANC conference.
Speaking at Ohlange in Inanda‚ north of Durban‚ where he and some of the ANC officials laid a wreath at the grave site of the ANC’s founding president‚ John Langalibalele Dube‚ Ramaphosa called for unity in the province, saying KwaZulu-Natal was far too important to the ANC to be left divided.
The ANC was dogged by deep divisions ahead of its elective December conference, in which Ramaphosa defeated Dlamini-Zuma by a close margin.
Dlamini-Zuma did not speak at Monday’s function.
Ramaphosa and the top six officials were scattered around KwaZulu-Natal‚ participating in a number of events in the lead-up to the January 8 statement marking the party’s founding anniversary.
The traditional January 8 statement — which this year marks the ANC’s 106th anniversary — will be delivered in East London on Saturday.
"Contestation is now over and the winner was the African National Congress‚" said Ramaphosa.
Clad in a black suit‚ white shirt and tie with ANC colours‚ a jovial Ramaphosa said the party should now rid itself of factionalism and forge unity in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ramaphosa also confirmed that he met President Jacob Zuma at Dube House in Durban on Sunday and held talks, but did not divulge anything about the talks.
He called on provincial chairperson Sihle Zikala and his "nemesis"‚ Senzo Mchunu‚ to smoke a peace pipe.
"Yesterday we met his majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini and he said he wants to see a united KwaZulu-Natal ANC leadership. It was also great to see comrade Senzo and Sihle holding hands. What more could you ask for‚" said Ramaphosa.
He urged the party’s rank and file to support the new ANC leadership‚ fight corruption in its ranks and "to not soil the reputation" of the ANC.
Ramaphosa and other officials were also due to lay wreaths at the grave of former ANC president Inkosi Albert Luthuli in Groutville‚ KwaDukuza‚ on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast.