Speaking at a wreath-laying ceremony to honour ANC struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC was not going to collapse.
- President Cyril Ramaphosa says the ANC has been “turbocharged”, after a fraught week for the decades-old party.
- He was speaking after paying tribute to the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the third anniversary of her death.
- He called the anti-apartheid activist and ANC Women’s League leader fearless and said she would have supported the call for a renewal of the ANC.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that the ANC is not in danger of collapse, and that the recent fraught period had actually left it turbocharged.
“It’s not about to collapse. Actually it’s been turbocharged,” he said.
Ramaphosa was speaking in Johannesburg after a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the death of ANC struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018.
“It’s been turbocharged to a higher level,” said Ramaphosa in an impromptu question-and-answer session with the media afterwards.
He said the party had a “wonderful” meeting recently, with a lot of discussion about the Covid-19 pandemic, the imminent announcement on speeding up the vaccination programme, and the renewal of the ANC.
“We have no doubt that the ANC is going to be on a path of unity and renewal,” said Ramaphosa, telling the media they should focus on that aspect.He said any leadership changes would be discussed at the party’s next policy conference, planned for 2022.
Earlier, Ramaphosa paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela as a fearless activist against the evil of apartheid, who would have called for unity in the ANC as it went through a difficult period.
“Mam uWinnie was not called the mother of the nation for nothing,” said Ramaphosa, whose presidency straddles that of the country and the majority party, the ANC.
READ | Ace Magashule will not turn to courts to fight the NEC’s instruction for him to step aside
“She was called the mother of the nation because, not only of her standing, but also of her deeds,” he said.
“She did so at a critical time in the course of our struggle when our leaders were either incarcerated or when they were in exile.”
Madikizela-Mandela had fired up the ANC in the country and given strength and courage to many because of her fearlessness. Ramaphosa said, if she had still been alive, she would have been at the forefront of protecting people struggling through poverty and inequality, and would have united the ANC as it went through its current problems.
He also paid tribute to the late Charlotte Maxeke, whose birthday was approaching.
“We have been blessed in South Africa to have had great women leaders.”
Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24’s 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.