Cyril Ramaphosa has said that the African National Congress (ANC) must return to its roots and draw on the values of its founders in order to strengthen itself.
The newly elected ANC president was speaking at a wreath-laying ceremony for former ANC president, John Langalibalele Dube, at Ohlange High School in Inanda as part of the party’s 106th anniversary celebrations.
“We want to go back to the value system that guided their lives so that we root out all of the bad things that have crept into our movement and the body politic of our country. We are determined to root our corruption in our ranks as it undermines our people. By doing this, we will also be strengthening the ANC,” said Ramaphosa.
He said that South Africa’s history started in 1912 when Dube became the first president of the ANC. “That was when struggle for human dignity got underway in our country.”
The newly elected leadership has been in the province since Sunday, where they paid homage to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Monday was set aside for wreath laying and tributes at the graves of ANC founders.
“We are here to report back to our first president. When President Nelson Mandela came to vote here in 1994, he said ‘I have come to report that SA is free’. Today we are here to report that we have emerged from our 54th conference and held a successful conference. The ANC is still here, is Still alive and has elected a unified leadership that is going to forge unity within the movement.”
Ramaphosa said that the new leaders also wanted to celebrate the promise Dube made to South Africans of a non-racial, non-sexist society that was democratic and prosperous.
“This is a South Africa we are in the process of developing. Dube laid very important foundation stones,” he said.
The party’s 54th national conference held last month had adopted “important policies” that Dube and others had advocated, said Ramaphosa. These included justice and returning land to the majority of the population.
“Many years later, we are saying the land will be returned. We are going to take the land and put in the hands of our people whether they like it or not. We will do this to enhance the development of our country,” he said.
Dube would have wanted the party to commence with a programme of radical socio-economic transformation that was in the interests of the people, he said.
“The work they started in 1912 has given us a great deal of opportunities, and we are going to take them up. In the course of doing so, we will adhere to the value system they adhered to.”
– African News Agency (ANA)