'Keep quiet when Ramaphosa speaks on Saturday,' Magashule tells ANC supporters

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has warned party members who will be at the ANC's manifesto launch in Durban on Saturday to "keep quiet" when party president Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his address.

Magashule was speaking at the party's mini-rally in the Harry Gwala region in Umzimkhulu on Tuesday as the party celebrated 107 years of existence.

"The programme director must not say: 'Hey, you comrades there, sit down'. Your conscience must tell you that we are now being addressed by the leader of the ANC and you must keep quiet. No smoking, don't talk to another comrade, don't talk to your friend, and switch off your phones," said Magashule.

He said the ANC was united ahead of the manifesto launch. But according to media reports, KwaZulu-Natal remains divided following the party's elective conference in 2017 where Ramaphosa succeeded former president Jacob Zuma.

Most regions in the province were pushing for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her former husband, Zuma, as ANC president.

Magashule said Zuma and Ramaphosa were together in Ohlange in Inanda on Tuesday to show that there is unity in the party.

'The ANC hasn't done anything wrong'

"There's no doubt that Ramaphosa is the president. We must respect current leadership of the party," he said.

He said former national executive committee members and current members were also deployed across the province on Tuesday to further demonstrate unity.

Magashule urged South Africans to continue voting for the party as "the ANC hasn't done anything wrong".

"The problem is with some of the leaders. The ANC does not belong to anybody, it belongs to the people of South Africa. Internal fighting among ANC members must stop. The ANC must unite," he said.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa - 'ANC aims to make SA the best country in Africa'

Magashule criticised those who he said left the ANC when they lost their positions in the party and formed new political parties.

One of those people was EFF leader Julius Malema, he said.

Malema is a former ANC Youth League president.

He said those leaders left the party because "for them, leadership is a status".

Don't forget, they took our land'

He warned ANC supporters who packed the Umzimkhulu FET College to capacity to be cautious of other political parties who would come to them asking for votes ahead of the national elections.

"They treated us like dogs but this year they'll come to you asking for votes. Don't forget how they treated us, they took our land," he said.

He warned that ANC detractors would criticise the ANC for not doing anything to improve the lives of South Africans since taking over government.

He said the ANC had fought for the citizens of the country to live anywhere they wanted to.

"The ANC created opportunities for white and black children to go to the same schools," he said.

Magashule commended ANC leaders who "sacrificed their education", including Zuma, in order to join the struggle during the years of apartheid and fight for the rights of black people.

"This is our land, they must leave it alone. We only have political freedom, we want the wealth of this country. We are the majority population-wise, why can't we own our wealth?" he asked.

Political killings condemned

He said radical economic transformation must start at municipality level.

"The economy will not be transformed by Thulas Nxesi just because he is the minister, the economy will not be transformed by comrade Cyril Ramaphosa because he is the president. Where is the provincial economy and municipal economy going to? Why can't our people control the wealth?" he asked.

He urged people to "rise up" and "get their dignity back".

"The ANC has brought that dignity back to black people. The ANC has provided housing, electricity and education. Your dignity is back," he said.

The former Free State premier said black people were no longer treated unequally in the country because of his party.

READ: ANC engages with KZN communities in run-up to 107th anniversary celebrations

"We are now treated equally. In our hospitals today a white person sleeps next to a black person. We are the same, we are all human beings because of the struggle of the ANC," he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the mini-rally, Magashule told the media that the ANC condemned the recent political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, regardless of whether the alleged killers were ANC members or not.

"Killings are killings, let's wait for the judicial processes to take place. The ANC condemns any killings by whoever, it doesn't matter whether people (accused) are ANC members. It's barbaric. It's not supposed to happen," he said.

ANC members, including councillors, have been recently arrested and charged with the murders of fellow party members in the province.

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