WATCH: Ramaphosa leads party in song as ANC turns 108
Kimberley - After telling party members that while “forces” have tried to destroy the ANC over the year, party president, Cyril Ramaphosa led party faithfuls in a birthday song, cake cutting and toast for future success and existence of the party.
Addressing a packed Mayibuye Centre in Galeshewe, Kimberley, on Wednesday afternoon, Ramaphosa said the party was still going to see many more years and was not moving away from its mission of uniting the people of South Africa.
This was on the backdrop of the ANC turning 108 years since it was founded in Bloemfontein in 1912 by a group of black intellectuals, including Dr John Langalibalele Dube and Pixely Isiah Ka Seme, among others.
Ramaphosa told the crowd that their Wednesday programme began with a visit to the grave of Sol Plaatje, the founding secretary of the party, whom they reported to him that the party he helped found was still going strong, 108 years later.
“We had gone to inform him that the ANC still lives, that the ANC still leads and that the ANC still unites. We also informed him that much as many forces tried to destroy the African National Congress, it is still here and it will be here for another 108 years,” Ramaphosa said after first gloating about the party’s rich history, saying it is not “newcomers”.
Later in his speech, Ramaphosa pleaded with party members to get rid of deviant tendencies and corruption within the liberation movement.
“Get rid of all deviant tendencies that have emerged in our ranks, in our organisation, get rid of corruption in our ranks, reposition the African National Congress… All we have to do we have to make ANC fit for purpose, fit to continue addressing the needs and the aspirations of our people,” Ramaphosa said.
Outside the venue, about 2000 members of the party, mainly youth, gathered to hear Ramaphosa speak. Since the hall was packed to the rafters and could not take more people, some members waited outside and Ramaphosa came out to address them as well.
According to the party’s deputy secretary-general, the colourful cake decorated with party colours, was going to be donated to three places that shelter the needy in the area of Kimberley.
The main birthday rally will be held on Saturday morning at Tafel Lager Park in Kimberley.