Muhammad Ali. (Photo: Getty Images)
Cape Town – African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the party in the Western Cape to stop fighting and work towards a Muhammad Ali-style comeback.
Ramaphosa was addressing the Elijah Barayi Memorial Lecture in Salt River, Cape Town, on Tuesday, where he told members that the list process was complete and that those who had not made it would get another chance.
"We have said the list process is closed. We have closed it. If you have been left out, accept it. Live to fight another day. This is a time to unite our people behind the banner of the ANC and the shield of Cosatu," he said.
He called for the party to hold hands and strategise a battle plan to win back the province and the city from the Democratic Alliance.
The Western Cape is the only province not governed by the ANC.
"We must put all the fights that we have been involved in aside. Right now, we have got a common enemy and a task. The enemy is all the Mickey Mouse parties and the common task is to campaign for an ANC victory, and that is what we must go and do," Ramaphosa told the gathering.
Ramaphosa said it was time for the party to shake off the yoke of the DA from their shoulders in the province.
The ANC in the Western Cape has been plagued by protests, with some members marching to the provincial headquarters over the list process.
Last week, disgruntled members damaged a gate at the ANC’s Sahara House and police had to be called in to disperse the crowd.
'People from our townships don’t go and vote'
Ramaphosa said the Western Cape was not a lost cause, and that there was still a chance to turn the tide.
"Fortunately you have a national leadership that is willing to come here, to walk every street with you. We can be like Muhammad Ali, who went to the jungle and... took back the championship again," he said.
He said the list concerns were not limited to the Boland region, where 15 candidates had apparently not been registered.
Ramaphosa called for members and the alliance to make it their mission to ensure people voted, even if they had to use wheelbarrows to transport them.
He said other parties were good at ensuring their voters went to the polls, and the ANC had to do the same.
A number of voters either went to the polls too late or were too lazy to go at all, he said.
"I have seen it all over the country and I have seen it in Cape Town where our people from our townships don’t go and vote. It’s almost like you have to take a wheelbarrow and take them to a voting station. If we have to do that comrades, let us to that. That vote is an important vote for us," he said.
Ramaphosa said campaign season was in full swing and their job was now to make sure their voters actually made it to the polls.
Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.
For election maps click here.