ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is greeted enthusiastically in Khayelitsha. (Jan Gerber/News24)
A vote for the ANC is not a vote for an individual, but for the 107-year old organisation, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said on Tuesday while campaigning in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape.
"Long live Cyril Ramaphosa, long live! Long live President Ramaphosa, long live!" he bellowed before he led a crowd of people who gathered in front of the ANC-branded truck in singing: "Phakama Ramaphosa."
Over the weekend, while campaigning in his hometown of Parys in the Free State, Magashule courted controversy by alleging that his cellphone and that of his deputy Jessie Duarte had been tapped. He also defended himself against accusations contained in the book Gangster State by investigative journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh, despite an instruction from Ramaphosa that he should not use ANC platforms for that purpose.
However, back in the Western Cape, where he also campaigned last week, Magashule stuck to the party line: that the ANC was the only hope for the poor and that the party was for black and white.
He did, without going into much detail, confirm that he complained about the alleged tapping of his phone to the authorities.
Speaking to reporters, Magashule said Khayelitsha was a stronghold for the ANC.
"We are here to remind them we are left with eight days before the election. And we are here to inspire them more – people who have no houses, people who have no shelter, people who have no water, people who have no jobs.
"Eight days before elections we have to inspire and agitate and activate our voters to know that it is so important to vote because we have fought for this freedom, and voting on the eighth of May can actually change their lives. And we are saying to them: 'Vote ANC'. This is the party that will take you out of unemployment, poverty, inequalities."
He said the party was optimistic in the Western Cape, as the provincial leadership had rid itself of the divisions that crippled it in the past, notably in 2009, when the DA took control of the provincial government.
"We have gone back to our roots. We must be a non-racial organisation. We have gone back to so-called coloured communities. We must visit everybody. We must go to farms."
Asked what he would say to voters who might have their doubts about voting for the ANC because of allegations of corruption, Magashule said: "It is not about individuals, this organisation is 107 years old. You can see it is still there. Leaders come and go, the organisation still remains – the organisation of [Nelson] Mandela, of [Oliver] Tambo, of [Walter] Sisulu, of [Albert] Luthuli, of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, of Joe Slovo and many others who fought for our freedom, the ordinary masses of our people who have freed South Africa.
"There is no way we can turn our backs to the masses of our people – black and white.
"You are not voting for an individual, you are voting for the organisation so that we run South Africa, and we'll run it better after May 8," Magashule said.
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