Cyril Ramaphosa in KZN. (Amanda Khosa, News24)
Durban – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday defended Tshwane mayoral candidate Thoko Didiza, saying there was no place for tribalism in South Africa.
"Let us say no to tribalism and racism. Those who say that she [Thoko Didiza] cannot lead because she is from KZN, we say no to tribalism.
“She is as much a citizen of Tshwane as anyone else and a citizen of South Africa as anyone else. All the disciplined members of the ANC say 'yes' to the decision of the ANC,” said Ramaphosa.
He was speaking during a campaign trail at Eyadini Lounge at V section in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal.
A taxi driver who was interviewed on Tuesday about the protests in Tshwane following the ANC's decision to name Didiza as its mayoral candidate for the upcoming municipal elections said she was from KwaZulu-Natal.
"The ANC cannot bring a Zulu person from KwaZulu-Natal to rule Pedis, Xitsongas and TshiVendas. If you are saying that she [Didiza] is from Pretoria, then tell us where in Pretoria she is from," the unnamed man was quoted as saying.
"She must go back to KZN," he said.
Ramaphosa said there had been challenges in Tshwane and the ANC was dealing with the challenges.
"I hope that you can see on your television screens that this problem is going to be resolved and we know that Thoko Didiza is going to lead Tshwane.
"To those who were saying that she was not from Gauteng, it is because they don’t understand the ANC. She has been in Pretoria for the past 17 years, paying rates and taxes and is a member of the branch and a leader of the branch."
'Let us win decisively'
He said that members of the ANC should remember the party’s values when faced with challenges.
"Our values say no to tribalism and racism. To those who say that she cannot lead because she is from KZN, we say no to tribalism. She is as much a citizen of Tshwane as anyone else and a citizen of South Africa as anyone else. All the disciplined members of the ANC say yes to the decision of the ANC, we know that with her leadership we will win the elections and Tshwane.”
He said other parties were looking to win the metros and that these metros should be protected.
"The DA is looking at Nelson Mandela, eThekwini and Tshwane... Behind Thoko Didiza we will campaign for the victory of the ANC.”"
He told the gathering that the ANC should win eThekwini decisively.
"Let us not win with 1%, let us win decisively. They must know, there must be no change.”
He said in Nelson Mandela Bay, the ANC had experienced some challenges, but that Mayor Danny Jordaan had risen to the occassion.
"We chose Danny Jordaan and our campaign in Nelson Mandela Bay is now on the rise. The people there can see what... the ANC is doing, they can see that he is working.
"In Johannesburg, the campaign is getting stronger and stronger by the day. When we look at the country as a whole, the campaign is in top gear.
"To those that ridicule us, those in red and blue shirts, they will know us because we will not lose. We will win all the municipalities where we are campaigning."