Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Reuters
Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken a direct swipe at President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family, with whom the president enjoys a close relationship. at the same time, he slammed the "politics of factionalism, patronage and vote buying" which he said was destroying the ANC from within.

Speaking at the Chris Hani Memorial lecture in Kwa-Nobuhle, Uitenhage, Ramaphosa said allegations that individuals were exerting undue influence over state appointments and procurement decisions should be of grave concern for the African National Congress.

He said the issue of "State Capture" needed to be addressed and the "wrongdoing exposed". He called for an independent investigation into the allegations.

Ramaphosa said it was fitting for leaders to reflect on the contribution of assassinated SACP leader Chris Hani

Paying homage to the slain SACP leader, Ramaphosa said Hani was a "giant of the struggle who has rightly earned his place among the most outstanding leaders of our people, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Govan Mbeki, Moses Kotane, Lilian Ngoyi, Dorothy Nyembe, Joe Slovo and Ahmed Kathrada." Ramaphosa said Hani was "a revolutionary who was truly worthy of the title Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe".

Read the full speech here

Hani was "not the kind of leader who, through reckless statements and self-serving actions, would divide the movement or polarise the nation. He embodied the revolutionary qualities that we need in our leaders today," said Ramaphosa.

Turning to the ruling party's policy of radical economic transformation, Ramaphosa said the ANC "must focus our attention on the actions required to advance radical economic transformation.

We must direct all our resources and energy to achieve far higher rates of inclusive growth, to create jobs, develop the skills of our youth and reduce poverty and inequality."

Ramaphosa made reference to a document drawn up by Hani and six other Umkhonto we Sizwe members exile which became known as "The Hani Memorandum" which said:

“The ANC in exile is in a deep crisis as a result of which a rot has set in. From informal discussions with the revolutionary members of MK we have inferred that they have lost all confidence in the ANC leadership abroad. This they say openly and in fact show it. Such a situation is very serious and in fact a revolutionary movement has to sit down and analyse such a prevailing state of affairs.”

The deputy president went on to say: "Chris Hani was a leader who was rooted among the masses, who was willing to listen and who was not afraid to confront problems.

"He was not afraid to raise concerns about the state of the movement or the conduct of its leaders.

"He was able to clearly articulate the weaknesses in our strategy or the shortcomings in its implementation.

"He did so precisely so that we could correct our errors and build the movement as a stronger, more effective instrument of struggle.

"He did so not to divide the ANC, but to unite it around a common understanding of the tasks of the moment and the actions that these tasks demanded."

Ramaphosa spoke openly about the divisions within the ruling party as well as the widening rifts in the tripartite alliance.

" There are many within the alliance and the broader democratic movement who say that the ANC is today in a deep crisis. Many say that a rot has set in, a result of our inability to respond effectively to the challenges – and temptations – of political office," he said.

"While some may want to contest the use of words such as ‘crisis’ and ‘rot’ to describe the current situation, the undeniable reality is that the democratic movement is undergoing a period of greater turbulence and uncertainty that at any time since 1994.

"There is a strong sense among many of our people that the ANC no longer represents their hope for a better life," said Ramaphosa.

In a bold move Ramaphosa openly criticised leaders who ignored the discontent amongst citizens who have taken to the streets for a number of marches recently to voice their disillusionment and unhappiness with the leadership of the country, but also blasted party members who engaged in public spats with each other.

'The manner and form of the cabinet reshuffle a few weeks ago heightened tensions within the movement, causing some comrades to engage in bitter exchanges in public statements and on social media. It has further polarised the Alliance and broader democratic movement, with different formations taking strongly opposing positions."

Ramaphosa said the bigger problem facing the movement was that "the politics of patronage, factionalism, vote-buying and gate keeping has become more widespread".

"In many parts of our country, the interests of the people have been rendered subordinate to the interests of the few as they jostle for positions of authority and access to resources. This challenge has been identified at the highest levels of the movement, resolutions have been taken at successive national conferences and it has been much debated within the alliance."

He said the challenge that faces ANC members and their alliance partners is how to come to grips with this.

Ramaphosa said Chris Hani's life was a lesson that the ANC had to be open and honest about the problems it faced, and do so without seeking factional advantage'

"The ANC cannot fulfil its historic mission if it is divided," he said.