“We need to take notice when the SACP asserts that our ideological coherence has weakened,” said Ramaphosa, who is also deputy president of the ANC.
He was speaking at the SACP’s special national congress at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus .
“We must agree with the SACP when it says that factionalism within the ANC has little to do with principled strategic issues, and more to do with contests for positions and access to resources.”
Ramaphosa’s comments come after the SACP claimed that ANC members who were unhappy with corruption involving some of the ruling party’s leaders, were leaving and opting to join the communists. He also called for tensions between the ANC and the SACP to end.
The deputy president blasted his fellow ANC leaders saying they must stop being “arrogant”. He warned against taking the electorate for “granted”.
“Leadership will be earned because we are trusted by our people,” he said. “They will trust us because they will see in their everyday lives the changes that we have been able to achieve.”
Ramaphosa said the ANC was ready to accept its mistakes and correct them.
Commenting on the recent spate of attacks on the judiciary by Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko and others, Ramaphosa said the ANC would defend the independence of the judiciary all costs.
However, SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande earlier said judges should stop their “ideological blackmail” and the judiciary was hostile towards the ANC-led government.
Dismising claims of a Constitutional crisis, Ramaphosa said: “Those who say there is a Constitutional crisis have it in their heads”.
He said the ANC welcomed an invitation by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for a debate on judiciary criticism.
“We will discuss openly and robustly with the judges some of the things people on the ground perceive as negative,” Ramaphosa said. “We will take heed of what they say.”
Ramaphosa praised the SACP, saying the party never criticised the ANC publicly.
“There are some in the movement who have made it their career to stand on public platforms and criticise the ANC,” he said.
He said the SACP has played a critical role in the ideological development of the liberation movement.