President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses professionals in Sandton, Johannesburg. PHOTO: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg - The African National Congress' (ANC) "new dawn" campaign will amount to nothing if corruption prevails, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.

Ramaphosa told professionals gathered in Sandton that the campaign he spearheads goes hand-in-hand with cleaning up and stopping corruption both in the public and private sectors.

"How we deal with corruption will define this new dawn. We are firm and going to ensure that we root out corruption from the face of South Africa. We need to return to those principles of our forebearers - principles of truthfulness, doing things correctly and putting our people first...those are the principles that underpins the new dawn," he told the audience.

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Ramaphosa said he had earlier visited Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and apologised to him and his wife Leah on the negative outlook the governing party took up in recent years.

"He thanked us, saying he can see the new dawn, can touch it and smell it and can see that we have exploded onto a new path," said Ramaphosa.

"I told Ramaphosa that I would like to apologise on behalf of our movement for driving him into despair. There was a time when the direction the movement was taking made Desmond Tutu lose confidence in us...so I apologised."

African News Agency/ANA