Ramaphosa did not apologise for addressing conference – ANC

Party says deputy president was deployed to deliver closing address

Statement by the Deputy President of the ANC Cde Cyril Ramaphosa on reported Eastern Cape 'apology'

2 November 2017 

The Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, has noted reports of an apology he is said to have delivered to the Amathole Regional General Council on Sunday, 29th October 2017 relating to the Eastern Cape 8th Provincial Conference.

According to these self-serving reports, the Deputy President purportedly apologised for addressing the Conference and for recognising the newly elected Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the ANC in the Province. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The 8th Provincial Conference of the Eastern Cape was duly sanctioned by the National Executive Committee, having followed all applicable guidelines for the convening of Conference. The Deputy President was duly deployed by the organisation to deliver the closing address at the Conference.

Comrade Deputy President has outlined the following: “On my way to the Conference I received reports of the violence that had ensued the night before. On arrival in East London I sought to visit the injured in hospital before being informed that they had all been discharged.

“I subsequently made my way to the Conference, where I was briefed by the NEC deployees about the events that had unfolded at the Conference.

“When I addressed the Conference, I strongly condemned the violence that had happened and expressed my concern for those who were injured.

“I also called for unity between the comrades who had remained and those who had left. In the course of condemning the violent incidents I used an unfortunate expression when I referred to the violent incidents as a ‘festival of chairs’.

“This was insensitive. I have since apologised for this statement.”

Comrade Deputy President Ramaphosa added: “I do, however, maintain that the conduct of those involved was wrong and should continue to be roundly condemned. We must also condemn the temptation and practice of undermining and seeking not to recognise a duly elected leadership as in the case of the PEC of the Eastern Cape. The PEC that is in office is a product of a Conference and remains as such unless the appeal against their election is upheld.

“Ultimately, we must all unite as comrades to ensure that the dignity of our movement remains intact at all times and that as leaders of society, we create a better life for the people of the Eastern Cape.”

The position of the African National Congress in relation to the 8th PEC of the Eastern Cape is that the leadership remains duly elected unless the outcome of the appeal process determines otherwise, a point emphasised also by Comrade President Jacob Zuma, when closing the meeting of the National Working Committee with leadership of the Eastern Cape on Monday 30 October 2017.

Issued by Zizi Kodwa, National Spokesperson, African National Congress, 2 November 2017