(Antonio Muchave, Gallo Images)
Ahead of Wednesday's national and provincial elections, President Cyril Ramaphosa has used the ANC's final mass rally to apologise for the mistakes and missteps of the party and its members, seemingly appealing to South Africans' capacity to forgive.
However, he asked voters and those gathered at Ellis Park Stadium to trust the party with their votes, saying no other party deserves to lead the country.
Giving the keynote address at the ANC Siyanqoba Rally on Sunday, Ramaphosa apologised to the country, saying the ANC was a party who admitted to its shortcomings.
He added that it’s only those who do nothing that don’t make mistakes. "We want to say we are sorry for all the mistakes we have done," Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa told the 62 000-strong crowd that through campaigning, the
ANC had travelled across the country and listened to people from all
walks of life.
"They have told us where service delivery has failed, where
infrastructure has not been maintained, where people with authority and
responsibility have stolen money ... They are frustrated at the slow
rate of economic growth and the grinding effects of poverty and
"We have heard of the difficulties many of them continue to face in the
midst of a tough economic environment, of the bills that need to be
paid, of the rising cost of food, fuel and transport."
He said people raised these concerns bluntly and directly, because the ANC is the only organisation that can address their concerns.
"They know the remarkable progress we have made together over 25 years; but they know that more could have been done, and that much more needs to be done," Ramaphosa told the crowd and the country.
"And so today, as the ANC, we say to the people of South Africa: We have heard you, we have listened closely and with humility.
"Where we have been found wanting, we accept the criticism. Where we have made mistakes, we acknowledge them without qualification."
Accepting the criticism and apologising for the mistakes made by the ruling party, Ramaphosa said the ANC is ready to lead again, calling on South Africans to join in on a journey of hope and renewal.
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