Cyril Ramaphosa vows to restore the ANC to its Nelson Mandela days
Cyril Ramaphosa says the ANC’s new leadership will restore the party to what it was under late president Nelson Mandela.
"This year we are renewing the ANC and making it the true ANC of Nelson Mandela," said Ramaphosa on Thursday. He spoke in the Qunu Community Hall, less than 1km from the late president’s homestead.
Ramaphosa, who assumed the leadership of the ANC last month, was addressing a mini rally in Qunu following a meeting between the party’s top six officials and members of the Mandela family at their Qunu home.
The ANC leadership also requested a visit to Mandela’s grave, which will take place on February 11.
The trip to Mandela’s homestead and the planned visit to his grave is part of a campaign by the ANC to retrace the movement’s and its leadership’s roots and allowing communities to meet the party’s new leadership.
At the ANC’s national conference last month, Ramaphosa was elected along with Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza, who is his deputy. Free State Premier Ace Magashule is the party’s new secretary-general, while Jessie Duarte was re-elected as deputy secretary-general. Gwede Mantashe is the new ANC chairman and Paul Mashatile is its treasurer-general.
Ramaphosa referred their visit as "a historic pilgrimage" which will take place each year.
The top six also visited the Abathembu kingdom on Thursday. They criss-crossed KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape as they toured the grave sites if its former leaders, while also paying homage to royalty, including Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Ramaphosa sought to emphasise that the top six officials were united. He said the leadership that was chosen by delegates in December was a combination of different views, different approaches and different thought processes. Each one of them brought something new and fresh to the ANC, he said.
Ramaphosa said they must be united and that the party’s leaders must speak in one voice — "the voice of the ANC".