President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for unity in the ANC, saying if the party does not unite, it will fall.
Speaking during the 150th birthday celebration for Charlotte Mannya Maxeke in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said divisions within the governing party should come to an end.
He also spoke against corruption in the party ranks, saying those who were associated with wrongdoing would be dealt with.
“There is no other way, comrades, than uniting the ANC. Any other way means the ANC continues to fall apart. As the leadership that has been elected at our conference of the ANC, our mandate was to unite and renew the ANC.
“We need to renew the ANC in line with the values and principles of the African National Congress. And one of the key things that we must do, is to make sure that the leaders and members of the ANC adhere to those values,” he said.
The president said members and leaders of the ANC needed to espouse values and principles that would uplift the integrity and reputation of the party; they needed to address the issue of corruption within so that the general population could regain confidence in the party.
“Many people love the ANC. But they will love the ANC even more when they know that the ANC is committed against corruption and the ANC will act against people who participate in acts of corruption.
“When we are being truthful, our people generally hate corruption because they don’t benefit from corruption. Only a few people benefit from corruption. And our people want a leadership that will give clear leadership to the membership of the ANC. That is what our people want.”
The president, accompanied by members of the national executive committee (NEC) and provincial ANC leaders, including Eastern Cape provincial chairperson and premier Oscar Mabuyane, held a community engagement session in Gqugesi village, where they were told by community members of a myriad of service delivery challenges including water, rampant crime and lack of jobs in the Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality under the Amathole District Municipality.
Also present was the president of the ANC Women’s League, Bathabile Dlamini.
Ramaphosa described Maxeke as an internationalist, a pan-Africanist and everything that is positive that one could want to see in a leader.
The president said Maxeke was the heritage of the ANC.
“We were very proud when the ANC NEC agreed that this year must be the year of Charlotte Maxeke. This is the very first time our movement has recognised, for the whole year, the contribution of a woman leader. And she was the most outstanding woman leader that we have had,” he said.