Ramaphosa pleased by Zuma’s presence at ANC's 107th celebrations
9 January 2019
President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was glad that former president Jacob Zuma had joined in the celebrations marking 107 years of the ANC.
Zuma participated in a series of events alongside Ramaphosa to mark Africa’s oldest liberation movement’s birthday on Tuesday, including attending a church service, visiting the ANC’s founding president John Langalibalele Dube’s grave, and a mini-rally in Ohlange, Inanda.
He also stole the spotlight at the rally, receiving more cheers and applause than Ramaphosa from those in attendance.
Ramaphosa, speaking on Ukhozi FM on Tuesday evening, said the media made it look like the two leaders did not get along or even talk to one another.
"It was a wonderful thing that Zuma was around. The community also loved it and saw there are no issues between us," said the president, who was speaking in Zulu.
He said two other former presidents – Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe – could not be in attendance.
Ramaphosa said Mbeki was in Vietnam, while Motlanthe was attending to affairs in New York, and insisted that they would be part of festivities if they were around.
While Ramaphosa admitted that some provinces and branches were still problematic, he claimed to not be losing sleep over them, as the movement was coming together.
Since his election as party president, some have claimed that those who did not support his ascendancy to power were being purged, with members in the North West – where the provincial executive committee was dissolved – accusing people around Ramaphosa of being at fault.
"I sleep peacefully because I know there’s no other alternative, we have to hold hands… there is no other option but to work together," said Ramaphosa.
The ANC president compared the liberation movement to the ocean, which he said had the ability to cleanse itself. However, he admitted that organisations like his party often went astray, but insisted that the ANC was not only on the mend, but also growing.
Reflecting on how South Africa’s first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela approached the role of leadership, Ramaphosa said processes were important.
He said this was a way to ensure sustainability, durability and to avoid making mistakes, which would need to be rectified at a later stage.
"Often people want you to take a decision immediately, without thinking it through. I learnt from Madiba. He was methodical, wanted to look at all sides before a decision is taken, to make sure when it's done, things go well," said Ramaphosa.