ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has called on party members to be as disciplined as Zion Christian Church (ZCC) members when President Cyril Ramaphosa takes to the stage at Moses Mabhida Stadium this Saturday, where the ANC election manifesto will be launched.
“When the ANC president ascends to the stage on Saturday, you must keep quiet. You must be like members of ZCC and Shembe. Your conscience must tell you without others asking you to keep quiet, switch off your phone, take off your hat and listen. Be disciplined,” Magashule implored members of the Harry Gwala region this afternoon.
The ANC is today celebrating 107 years in KwaZulu-Natal, with officials and national executive members of the party being spread across the province.
Ramaphosa addressed members in Inanda this afternoon at a rally also attended by former president Jacob Zuma who was received warmly.
Magashule, who was a fierce ally of Zuma, used his address to call on the party to unite behind Ramaphosa.
“We as the top six, NEC and PECs (provincial executive committees) are united. We are [the] ANC and we have one ANC. This ANC was led by president Mandela after president OR Tambo. It was led by comrade Thabo Mbeki, after Thabo Mbeki it was led by comrade Zuma. After comrade Zuma it is led by comrade Ramaphosa. So the president of the ANC, there is no doubt, there is only one president, Cyril Ramaphosa. That is how the ANC works. The chairperson of the ANC is the chairperson of the ANC, there is one chairperson. The chairperson of the branch is one chairperson, that is how the ANC works,” Magashule said.
Ahead of this year’s crucial general elections, set to take place in May, the secretary-general warned members not to forget what the ANC had made possible for black South Africans.
“We were treated like dogs. This year those same people will come to you and ask for your votes. They will say the ANC has done nothing for you. The ANC has made it possible for black South Africans to live wherever they want to. The ANC has made it possible for the children of blacks and whites to attend the same schools; they get the same quality of education. The ANC has made it possible for those without water, to have water.
“But people say that the ANC has done nothing. The ANC made it possible for black people to vote for the first time after more than 300 years. Black people voted in 1994 and a black person became president. White people and black people now have the same identity document. People forget too easily and say the ANC has achieved nothing. How? How can they forget? How can you forget that they took our land? Mawubuye umhlaba wethu (our land must come back). Mawubuye. Let the land come back,” Magashule said as he broke out in song.
Magashule also pleaded for patience to those who are still going without essentials like housing, access to clean water and food.
“We are sorry that we have not gotten to everyone yet. To the person that goes to bed hungry, your day will come. We are coming to you as well.”
Special mention was given to the families of those who had lost their lives in the volatile region which has seen a number of ANC members gunned down in suspected political killings.
The families included those of the late former secretary-general of the ANC Youth League, Sindiso Magaqa, who was killed in a hail of bullets last year.