Let’s emulate Tambo, says Ramaphosa
ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa has made light of criticism that his OR Tambo memorial lecture was a “factional gathering” over t-shirts worn by his supporters emblazoned with his campaign slogans.
He was speaking at a church in Goodwood, where many of his supporters had to be brought by taxi, filling the pews.
Flanking Ramaphosa was former Cabinet member Pallo Jordan and ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs.
Also in attendance was former ANC premier Ebrahim Rasool, purged following the watershed Polokwane conference, and the last ANC mayor in Cape Town, current NEC member and Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Nomaindia Mfeketo.
Before Ramaphosa could start his address, the divisions in the ANC ahead of the party’s December elective conference, were on full display as chairperson of the Dullah Omar (Cape Town metro) region Xolani Sotashe was roundly booed when he called out supporters of the party’s deputy president for wearing #Siyavuma t-shirts – the slogan for his presidential campaign.
When he called the wearing of the campaign t-shirts “foreign tendencies” the large audience turned against him.
“We must not allow foreign tendencies in the ANC. People must wear t-shirts in their factional gatherings. We are hurting the name of DP (deputy president),” said Sotashe.
Taking the podium, Ramaphosa at first agreed with Sotashe, saying he had raised a “correct issue”.
“In Manguang we discussed this thing (of factional t-shirts). The NEC resolved that if we have meetings of the ANC we should take care not to wear t-shirts or caps that identify with one of the candidates.
“Now, wherever I have been going ... when we come to the ANC, we are saying we must try to forge unity at all costs and not try to do anything that will divide our movement because we don’t have time, some of us will have to go to our branches’ BGMs and some of us are wearing t-shirts that I don’t see clearly here.”
Ramaphosa said the ANC sought the wisdom of Tambo, wanting the honesty “that he displayed throughout his life”.
He said Tambo’s integrity, as well as his humility should be the key attributes to guide not only the ANC’s members but also its leadership.
“We should not only speak of this great man, but we should have the courage to embrace the ethos, the spirit and the vision that he had,” said Ramaphosa.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was warmly welcomed at a Goodwood church yesterday.