Ramaphosa calls for ANC unity at Maxeke commemoration
Durban - President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the ANC Youth League to assist in uniting the party as it faces deep divisions and a serious fall-out come month-end when many members have to step aside or face suspension.
Ramaphosa made this call for unity during his address at the 150th commemoration celebrations for Struggle stalwart Charlotte Mannya Maxeke in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.
The ANC also declared 2021 “The Year of Unity, Renewal and Reconstruction in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke”.
Addressing a congregation in the Nxukhwebe in Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, Ramaphosa said visiting her homeland “feels like I have come to the fountain of wisdom”.
He honoured Maxeke as a religious leader and social and political activist who was the first black woman to graduate with a university degree in South Africa with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wilberforce University, Ohio, in 1901. She was also the first black African woman to graduate from an American university.
Celebrations around Maxeke’s life come at a time when there are deep divisions within the ANC, with allegations of a splinter party called the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) faction emerging.
The governing party also recently took a tough stance against corruption among its members by activating a resolution that any member facing serious crimes and corruption charges or allegations must step aside from their positions or face suspension.
“If we don’t unite, we are going to fall.
“The Youth League will work with us to make sure we unite the ANC. There is no other way but to unite the ANC, otherwise the ANC will continue to fall apart,” Ramaphosa said.
“We must address the issue of corruption within the ANC so that our people can regain their confidence in the ANC.
“I can see that nearly all of you love the ANC, but you will love the ANC more if you see the ANC acting against corruption and those who participate in corruption,” he said to applause from the crowd.
While Ramaphosa led the celebrations in the Eastern Cape, Deputy President David Mabuza attended celebrations in Limpopo, Secretary-General Ace Magashule was in Gauteng and Treasurer-General of the ANC, Paul Mashatile, led celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal.
Magashule has been touted as a leading force behind the RET faction operating within the ANC. During his address at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Maxeke’s grave site in Gauteng, Magashule defended the RET rhetoric, saying it was a policy that was adopted by the party and could not be changed, and should be accepted.
“The economy must be in the hands of the African people. The dream of making sure that all of us get out of abject poverty must be realised today and not tomorrow,” he said.