Cyril Ramaphosa

African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged members to capitalise on the cracks propping up in opposition parties in order to win back supporters and grow the partyl

Ramaphosa was speaking during a memorial lecture for former ANC leader, Oliver Tambo in Thembalethu in George at the Southern Cape on Monday .

Ramaphosa was referring to the recent troubles within the Democratic Alliance led alliance in the NelsonMandela Bay municipality as well as the recent resignation of DA leader in the Western Cape Patricia de Lille.

Ramaphosa told supporters the positive attitude he received from members in the Southern Cape renewed his hope in reviving the party and said to use the weakness of the opposition parties to strengthen the ruling party.

“Other parties are getting into disarray, Patricia de Lille has resigned, I can smell something there, when things like that happen we can see that there are cracks and we must capitalise on those cracks,” he said.

Ramaphosa was addressing a hall of about two hundred residents following a day of campaigning in the Uniondale and Thembalethu communities where by-elections will be on Wednesday following the deaths of councillors in both areas.

ANC councillor from Ward 25, Marlin Du Preez and Ward 11 Councillor died last year shortly after the elections.

Ramaphosa preached the importance of unity adding that issues of mistrust and organisational weakness were undermining the party’s ability to address the issues that affect members.

Ramaphosa told supporters the most important lessons to be learnt from Tambo were unifying the movement.

“Oliver Tambo was not a factionalist, he had one faction and that was the ANC, as leaders in branches, regions, provinces and nationally, we must embrace those values,” he said.

“What is important to know is we will never be able to build a better life for people without a strong, united movement.

“We have seen where we are not united, we loose elections, our people don’t like divided programmes. Ordinary people want to a united ANC, speaking from one sheet and singing from the same hymn books, they will then rally behind the ANC.

“Let us know that in order for us to win in 2019 we will have to be united, the preparations for 2019 start now.”

Ramaphosa who is a favourite to succeed President Jacob Zuma following a national conference in December has warned members to be aware of tactics used those lobbying for certain candidates.

“Our leadership races are problematic, when I went to Uniondale I was told that leading up to the elections, there were four candidates and the other three decided to drop out and rally around the one candidate.

“But in other places people fight for positions, in some cases we kill for positions.

“Sometimes we resort to gate-keeping, we don’t want new people to join the party in order to control the few they have, we say down with gate-keeping down!

“Some of the other bad practices is the vote buying, there are people who go around with money buying votes from members and that is fraud and we cannot allow that in the ANC.

“All this is happening because we have a new enemy, we are fighting for money, fighting over tenders, and Oliver Tambo would never have approved of such practices.

“Our own internal practices have been infiltrated by people with money who come in carrying bags of money because they themselves want tenders.”

Political Bureau