ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa at the East London City Hall during the ANC 106 birthday celebrations in the Eastern Cape. Picture: MASI LOSI
ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa at the East London City Hall during the ANC 106 birthday celebrations in the Eastern Cape. Picture: MASI LOSI

The ANC’s January 8 statement on Saturday will prove that the party is ready for the 2019 national elections, according to its president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa is set to deliver the January 8 statement for the first time on Saturday, after he was elected ANC president in December. He addressed the party’s gala dinner on Friday evening ahead of Saturday’s statement.

Opposition parties have made it clear that their target in the 2019 national elections is to force the ANC below 50% of the vote. Ramaphosa’s win was, however, seen as a blow to the opposition’s plans for 2019.

Ramaphosa said in his address that he would not touch on too many of the same topics that would be raised in the January 8 statement.

Jokes were plentiful though.  Ramaphosa had the ANC attendees laughing at his descriptions of the top six’s experience since they were elected.

Ramaphosa said that a person’s perspective of the ANC depended on one’s perspective of the party. He likened it to Table Mountain, saying that if viewed from behind it may look like just another mountain near a village, but from the front the view was the ''right side''.

Ramaphosa spoke at length about how the top six was elected from diverse positions, reiterating the message that delegates elected the leaders in such a way to unify different people with different ideas. The ANC delegates elected a top six that was split down the middle between two slates.

Ramaphosa said that not "a single member of the ANC has shown any reservation or grumbling (about the elected leadership)".

He emphasised that the unity of the ANC was sacrosanct.

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