Cape Town - The governing African National Congress will on Monday seek to bring the transfer of power from President Jacob Zuma to a close, because the party knows this is what South Africans demand, South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
He said the party's national executive committee (NEC) would at an extraordinary meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon seek to "finalise this matter" and do so in a manner that put first and foremost the interest of the country.
"The NEC will be doing precisely that," Ramaphosa told a rally in Cape Town to mark the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, the nation's first democratically elected president.
"I say this because we know you want this matter to be finalised... we we know you want closure on this matter," he said of week-long negotiations aimed at seeing him succeed the scandal-ridden Zuma.
Invoking Mandela's political legacy, Ramaphosa said the transition should further be handled in an orderly manner.
"We should draw deep into Madiba's wisdom and Madiba's style of doing things in an orderly fashion, in a way where we focus on the end result. This is precisely what our leadership is doing now with the key objective of uniting our people."
Ramaphosa said the country needed to reverse the damage of seeing its key state-owned enterprises (SoEs) corrupted for the gain of a single family - a veiled reference to mounting evidence of wrongdoing that enriched the controversial Gupta brothers and embroiled Zuma and several of his key ministers.
The party needed to put behind itself "a period of discord" and return to Mandela's vision of a non-racial society, where all its citizens could aspire to jobs, dignity, and safety. It should, he added, also acknowledge its shortcomings and correct these.
His rousing speech at times read like an election address, as he hailed the pending implementation of a minimum national wage and lapsed into Afrikaans in a nod to the city's coloured community that would be pivotal in the ANC trying to wrest power here at a local government level from the Democratic Alliance.
He promised the national government would do more to ensure water supply to the city that is in the grips of the worst drought in living memory.
South Africa's next general election will be held next year, and the party was expected to bleed further support if Zuma stays at the helm.
African News Agency/ANA