Booing needs to come to an end, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa told hundreds of ANC members on Friday night.
“We must not be seen as people who insult others, people who are going to be trying to stop the meetings of other people, people who are booing other people. We are united and we must allow people to express themselves because we know that we are the bearers of good news and the truth, we have a historic responsibility to unite not only our communities, but the people of South Africa.”
Ramaphosa said the ANC needed to bring people together, even those who benefited from apartheid.
“The ANC is no longer seen and heard as the movement that is leading the project of non-racialism in our country, we are no longer the movement that unites all people. Some are saying the ANC is just for Africans, that is not so … we are the uniters of the nation,” Ramaphosa said.
He was addressing the members and the leadership of the region and was joined by Dr Mathole Motshekga, his wife Minister Angie Motshekga, and Reverend Frank Chikane at the launch of the ANC’s OR Tambo Fridays. He was speaking at the Ivory Park North Hall to the ANC’s Greater Midrand Zone 15.
His statements came after Zuma was booed at the Cosatu May Day rally in Bloemfontein where members did not want him to address them, forcing all speeches to be cancelled.
The federation has called for Zuma’s resignation and have publicly stated that they endorsed Ramaphosa to be the next president.
He said, “We need to critically reflect on this project of uniting our people as a whole and the ANC itself. Right now our movement is divided and … factions have formed in our movement.”
Ramaphosa told the gathering that they were not branches that gathered only during the elections.
“There are some branches that only gather during the elections or conferences.”
Another important task he said, was to unite the alliance.
“It is only a united ANC that can unite our country and effectively pursue the program of fundamental transformation. While there are many in the opposition camp who are working very hard to weaken and ultimately destroy the ANC, it is our own actions that will determine whether we will become an effective or strong and united ANC. We should not even be focusing on the opposition, we should focus on ourselves and ensure that our side is united and have the courage to acknowledge that the movement that we belong to, is plagued by factions…”
‘Condemn those amongst us who act dishonestly’
He told the gathering that it had a responsibility of uniting the ANC.
Ramaphosa said competing for resources was what divided ANC members.
“Never let money come between you and your comrades. If you allow that then this unity that you have as a zone will be destroyed. We should build values and principles founded by the ANC.”
He told the gathering to hold on to the values and principles of the ANC.
“Never ever allow the values of the ANC to be taken from you, they are yours…”
He also told the gathering to remain respectful and honest.
“In everything that we do, we need to ensure [that we are] constructive in our engagements and not underpinned by lies and being dishonest.”
He said he had learnt from Oliver Tambo not to listen to gossip and to keep the movement alive.
“That means our leaders have a responsibility and we must condemn those amongst us who act dishonestly, violate the values of the ANC and if we don’t deal with them … then dishonesty will become the new normal. We now say it is okay to be dishonest, to lie, to steal just a little bit. It is not okay because that is not how the ANC should function.
“It is also means that we must be able to tackle this new disease, that is now emerging, which we must condemn, the disease of booing, hackling and disrupting meetings. That must come to an end. [It] is un-ANC.
“I have been told that every meeting that I go to will be booed and hacked and I have been waiting but I know that I will not get it from here,” he said, adding that those with grievances should have the space to speak about it.
He told the gathering that as it goes to the policy conference in June, they should look at the policies closely because they had an impact on the country.
“Make sure that the ANC leaves the conference with good policies that will solve problems in the country.”
‘Restore the glory of the ANC’
He said the branches would take centre stage at both the policy and the elective conference in December. “Beyond the conference, it will be the 54th conference where you will make your presence felt. Your moment has arrived”
He told the gathering that the unity of the ANC was in the hands of the branches. “You will elect new leadership.
“When you go there, say no to all the bad things that have been happening in the conference, no to dishonesty. [When you] go there, you must say we want a renewed ANC, the ANC that will win 2019 elections. Restore the glory of the ANC.”
He told the gathering to go to the conference to elect leaders that bring real radical economic transformation.
“I urge you to look at everything in the policy conference so that we can take the right decisions.” He told the branches to focus on getting rid of the factions in the party, uniting leaders, and electing the best leaders for the country. “
We must now focus on 2019, never repeat 2016, and the only way to do it is to make sure that you elect good leaders in December,” Ramaphosa said .