WHY WE WANT CYRIL
THE ANC in the Northern Cape has been vocal in its support for Cyril Ramaphosa and the party’s provincial chairperson, Zamani Saul, yesterday explained why the deputy president is the man to take the organisation and the country forward.
The ANC and its alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu, packed the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre for the Cadres Assembly in Kimberley yesterday and reiterated their support for presidential hopeful Ramaphosa.
Members of the ANC Women’s League and ANC supporters from the Free State also formed part of the gathering, despite recent pronouncements that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was the preferred candidate of the Women’s League and that province.
Saul outlined in his address the similarities in the Northern Cape’s support for Zuma back in 2007 and its current support for Ramaphosa.
“Today I will say exactly what I said 10 years ago, in September 2007, when the then deputy president, Jacob Zuma, visited the Province as part of his ANC presidential campaign.
“The reason I decided to take such an approach is because of three stark similarities between then and now. The first similarity is the host town, the 2007 event was in Kimberley, just as this one. The second similarity is that the then deputy president of the ANC was under severe attack by those who did not want him to ascend to the position of president of the ANC.
“The third similarity is that we are just a week away from nomination branch general meetings, as in 2007.
“In my 2007 address at the open air arena, I highlighted the fact that it is an established tradition in the ANC that the deputy president of the party is the next in line for the position of president. The then deputy president agreed with this assertion in his follow-up address,” said Saul.
He added that it was a resolution adopted by the ANC that the deputy president should be next in line for the presidency.
“The 1949 ANC National Conference unanimously adopted a blueprint which seeks to clarify the election of president. This was after a fierce battle for leadership between Dr Xuma and Dr Moroka. The 1949 National Conference overwhelmingly resolved that ‘from now, henceforth the deputy president of the organisation shall preferably succeed an outgoing president’.
“This resolution sought to guide the attitude of ANC members in exercising their democratic rights when electing the president. It is not the 8th conference decision.
“This is the reason why, in 1952, one of the deputy presidents, Chief Albert Luthuli, was elected as the ANC president. The deputy to Luthuli, OR Tambo, was elected as the president in 1969. The deputy to OR Tambo was Nelson Mandela, and he was elected as president in 1991. The deputy to Nelson Mandela was Thabo Mbeki, and he was elected president in 1997. The deputy to Thabo Mbeki was Jacob Zuma, and he was elected president of the ANC in 2007.
“From 1952 until 2007, through democratic practice, the ANC and its structures remained faithful to the 1949 conference resolution to ensure smooth transition of leadership. Now in 2017, as the Northern Cape, we pledge to remain faithful to that resolution,” Saul said.
He further stated that Ramaphosa had proven himself to be the best person to occupy the post of president.
“During our 8th Provincial Conference, we resolved that we support comrade Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next president of the ANC. He is next in line . . . apart from that, he is a politically astute leader with immense capabilities.
“Comrade Cyril was elected at the 1991 Durban Conference as the 13th secretary-general of the ANC. As such, as the Northern Cape, we are geared up to have comrade Cyril elected as the 13th president of the ANC.
“In the year of OR Tambo, we want you (Ramaphosa) to be just like OR Tambo. Tambo was the only serving leader of the ANC who was secretary-general of the ANC as well the president of the ANC. Tambo was the ninth secretary-general of the ANC and the ninth president of the ANC. Cyril was the 13th secretary-general of the ANC and we want to make him the 13th president of the ANC.
“The tradition of ensuring a smooth transition in the organisation has been erased in the minds by those infected by the Gupta virus,” Saul added.
He assured Ramaphosa that the ANC in the Northern Cape would defend him in the same way that it had defended President Jacob Zuma in the past.
“Heading towards the Polokwane Conference in 2007 there were four emerging and disturbing trends that emboldened us to take a stance against the Thabo Mbeki establishment. One was the attempt to block the deputy president from ascending to the position of the president. The second was the third-term phenomenon. The third trend was the use of the state security apparatus to discredit individuals and to fight factional battles in the ANC, and, lastly, the erosion of the role of the ANC as the strategic centre of power.
“Once again there are tendencies to try and block a deserving and capable deputy president from becoming the president. There are also tendencies to introduce a disguised third term through crude manipulation of gender struggles within the movement. The issue that a woman must become president, is a disguised third term.
“This makes me have respect for president Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki was daring and stood up and said he wanted a third term. He never used a proxy in order for him to get a disguised third term.”
Saul also spoke out against the controversial Gupta family.
“Luthuli House has been reduced to a joke by the Gupta family and the beneficiaries of their resources. The Guptas are now the strategic centre of power. If you want to be deployed to cabinet, you must submit your CV to them. There is no self-respecting ANC member who can accept that. Hence, as the Northern Cape, we call for the arrest of the Guptas and their acolytes.
“There is a new trend from those who are captured by the Guptas to call and ask the Guptas to give the ANC space to govern. South Africans are now fed-up of the Guptas. We do not need space for the Guptas to govern. Eleven million South Africans voted the ANC into power to govern and it is those people who gave the ANC space to govern, we will not ask for space from the Guptas.”
Saul called on Ramaphosa to unite the organisation and to root out the Gupta family.
“Any hope to redeem the movement and to ensure that we recapture the imaginations of the people of this country lies with comrade Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The project of transforming South Africa into a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous country is crafted in the sweat and capable hands of comrade Cyril Ramaphosa. Today, there are very few living leaders in the ANC that can claim such an extra-ordinary political craftsmanship.
“This prompted Nelson Mandela in 1996, when reflecting on the work of the Constituent Assembly, to say that comrade Cyril is one of the most capable leaders of the ANC, in whom Mandela has full confidence.
“Mandela said that the future of the ANC will always be bright in the capable hands of such young, brilliant comrades such as Cyril. As a Province, we should be part of realising this prophetic assertion by Nelson Mandela, by protecting our movement and intensifying our support for comrade Cyril.
“We must protect the movement against the Gupta family, as everything that they put their corrosive hands on is destined for a dustbin. We will have to wage a Stalingrad battle to save our movement against a disguised third term that seeks to hand over the ANC to the Guptas,” said Saul.