54th ANC National Conference 21.12.2017 10:59 am

Ramaphosa calls for ANC unity and end to corruption

Newly elected President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa takes to the stage at the closing of the 54th National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on 21 December 2017. The closing ceremony outlined broad policy approaches of the new leadership, which included expropriating land without compensation, free education and a crackdown on corruption. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Newly elected President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa takes to the stage at the closing of the 54th National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg, on 21 December 2017. The closing ceremony outlined broad policy approaches of the new leadership, which included expropriating land without compensation, free education and a crackdown on corruption. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The new ANC leader says the party must fight corruption with the same intensity as it has fought poverty and inequality.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa read the riot act to all ANC leaders who acted unethically and corrupt that their behaviour will not be tolerated under his leadership.
Also he reached out to his former competitor for  the ANC presidency, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, praising her for entering the race.

Ramaphosa made it clear that he won’t discriminate between the private and public sectors corruption. As he tackles radical economic transformation, the land question and corruption in the private sector, political analyst Sipho Seepe said Ramaphosa responded  to concerns raised about his orientation.

Delivering his maiden speech as ANC president as he closed the party’s 54th national conference at Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa called for unity and an end to corruption, which he said it must be fought with the same intensity as the ANC fought poverty and inequality.

His speech left no doubt that he would be acting hard on corruption both in the public and private sectors. In an apparent reference to the state capture, he spoke about critical issues of the state where individuals who targeted state resources for their own interests.

“Given all this we are called up to act against corruption, he said,” he said. He the conference gave them a mandate to fight corruption and promised that they will investigate graft without fear or favour.

He directed his arrow to the party as he said graft must come to an end also within the ANC. The party’s ethics committee’s powers were strengthened to give it teeth to investigate unethical behaviour by party members.

His speech was conciliatory and he reached out to his pre-conference opponent. He paid special tribute to his main contestant, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma commending her for having entered the ANC presidential race as a woman.

He turned former ANC president Jacob Zuma and praised him for the role he played in the liberation and struggle for democracy. Ramaphosa took his time commend Zuma on his achievements in government and including his fight against the HIV scourge.

Ramaphosa promised to apply radical economic transformation in line with  the conference resolution. The party also resolved to implement land expropriation without compensation,, move that was meant to address land that was taken away from black people .

“When land was taken away from them poverty became part of our lives.

“If anything that pre-occupied  people immensely over the years since 1994, it had been the question of land.

His address revolved around unity saying the delegates had done something special by shunning the politics of slates when they voted for a mix leadership.

“You as delegates you decided you want a united leadership,” he said.

The new leader said in all its structures the ANC must always consider the question of gender equality and generational mix and have more women and youth represented in the party.

He said the time for talk was over but there must be action. “The people of South Africa don’t want words, they want action.

All public representatives would be held accountable for their action. Those elected to public office must humble themselves before the people and serve them.

Seepe said by touching on radical socio-economic transformation he was responding  to those who were doubtful about his commitment to this issue. He said he was unapologetic to the land question the extent that he broached the notion of land theft.

Reaching out to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zumas was a masterpiece,” Seepe said.

-ericn@citizen.co.za

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