Johannesburg - African National Congress stalwarts have congratulated newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and called for urgent action against corruption.
Ramaphosa beat former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a fierce battle to lead the 105-year-old liberation movement at its 54th national elective conference which concluded on Wednesday.
The stalwarts said in a statement on Thursday that they wished Ramaphosa well on what they viewed as a difficult journey for the political party and country, stating that they wish his presidency would bring about "a breath of fresh air for the ANC and the nation".
"As stalwarts, we believe there still remains unfinished business. We will continue to demand that there is a radical departure from the unacceptable tolerance of corruption that has reached into all parts of our economy," they said in a statement.
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There can be no place in the ANC, government, the civil service, and the public and private sectors of the economy for those who have been involved in corrupt activities, continued the ANC's former leaders.
The stalwarts also called on the new ANC president to appoint a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority, a task assigned to Ramaphosa as the deputy president of the country by the North Gauteng High Court.
'Give Zuma his day in court'
In December, the High Court gave Ramaphosa two months to appoint a new National Director of Public Prosecutions after it found Advocate Shaun Abrahams' appointment was unlawful.
It also ruled that President Jacob Zuma was not up to the task as he was conflicted in the matter.
"Irrespective of position, justice must be seen to take its course objectively, without fear or favour," said the stalwarts.
In the statement, the stalwarts also advised Ramaphosa and his national executive committee to get rid of Zuma as the head of state and to make sure he faces corruption charges which he has been dodging for years.
"A starting point and a clear message to the country, needs to be the recall of President Zuma and to let his stated wish to have his day in court become a reality," said the stalwarts.
They also asked for the new leadership collective to work toward unifying the ANC, which has been riddled by factional battles in the run-up to the December conference.
"Real party unity can only be built on our historic principles, values and integrity as expounded and practiced by comrade OR Tambo," they said.
The elective conference was not the end of a sad period in the history of the country and of the ANC, but it could and should be the beginning of its end, they said.
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