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.

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