The then-contenders for the African National Congress (ANC) presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, work well together, according to party chairperson Gwede Mantashe.
He addressed ANC supporters at Mbizana, in the Eastern Cape, on Thursday, where he called for unity among the party’s members beyond conferences, even if their preferred candidate did not win the battle.
Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma contested for the ANC leader position at the party’s 54th national conference in Nasrec in December 2018, where the former was victorious.
Their campaigns leading up to the conference created divisions within the party, with some, including former president Jacob Zuma, the ANC Youth League and the ANC Women’s League supporting Dlamini-Zuma, while Ramaphosa had the support of some provinces and alliance partners Cosatu and SACP.
The ANC’s leadership has been crisscrossing the country calling for unity since December, and Mantashe used the Mbizana launch of the party’s Thuma Mina campaign to do the same.
“We cannot be enemies because we didn’t agree with one another preconferences. At the national conference, President Ramaphosa was elected ANC president. He appointed comrade Nkosazana as minister in presidency. They work well together.
“Comrades must understand that there is ANC beyond conferences. We need each other. We might have had different ideas before conference. Delegates at the conference elected the leadership. We cannot be enemies. We must be united to strengthen the ANC,” he said.
We cannot be enemies because we didn't agree with one another pre-Conferences. At the National Conference, President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected #ANC President. He appointed Cde Nkosazana as Minister in Presidency. They work well together. #ThumaMina
— Gwede Mantashe (@GwedeMantashe1) July 12, 2018
He said the party’s leaders should reach out to people whether they agree with them or not.
“We must be able to talk to one another, even when we disagree. We must also reach out to comrades post conferences,” Mantashe said.