‘Others talk, we do’: triumphant Ramaphosa stirs up party faithful
Addressing 60,000-plus supporters, he pleaded for voters to give the ANC a renewed mandate to take SA forward
President Cyril Ramaphosa used his final campaign rally to acknowledge the mistakes of the ANC, while promising that those found guilty of corruption or involvement in state capture will not serve in his government.
The president addressed the ANC Siyanqoba rally at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, where supporters gathered for their final show of support for the ANC on Sunday.
Ramaphosa’s address was at times triumphant, while he also made an impassioned plea for voters to give the ANC a renewed majority.
The rally was a culmination of a four-month campaign building up to Wednesday’s election, where Ramaphosa promised change at a time of division in the ANC and heightened economic distress in the country.
Before the crowd of 60,000-plus supporters, Ramaphosa admitted the party had made mistakes.
“Where we have been found wanting, we accept the criticism that is being levelled against us. Where we have made mistakes, we are humble enough to acknowledge the mistakes without any qualification,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the ANC listened closely “with humility” to the concerns of South Africans.
“We admit that we have made mistakes ... but it is only those who are doing nothing who don’t make mistakes. We are ready to work together, side by side with all South Africans, to build a country in which all may thrive,” he said.
While the president repeated promises made on the campaign trail, he was unequivocal in his commitment to remove those guilty of corruption and state capture from the government.“Let us declare here and now: we will never surrender our freedom to corruption and state capture,” Ramaphosa said.He said the party should expect resistance from those who had benefited from wrongdoing.Ramaphosa further made a firm commitment not to include those guilty of corruption and state capture in his cabinet should the ANC win the majority vote.“We are determined that those found guilty of corruption or involvement in state capture will not be allowed to occupy positions of responsibility, either in the ANC, in parliament or in government,” he said, drawing applause.
Ramaphosa said he had taken decisive steps to fight corruption over the past year he had been in office.
“We have done much to restore the credibility and effectiveness of the NPA, Sars, SAPS and the State Security Agency. But the road ahead is long, and there is still much more to do,” he said.
He said the Zondo commission of inquiry was uncovering the nature and extent of state capture.
When giving the SACP’s message of support, party general secretary Blade Nzimande assured Ramaphosa that he had the full support of the ANC against state capture and corruption.
The president pleaded with ANC volunteers not to allow their campaigning of the past few months to go to waste, saying that the next few days would “determine the future of the country for many years to come”.
“We must do everything within our means to ensure that every ANC voter casts their ballot and that every ANC vote is counted,” he said.
Ramaphosa made a slight jab at the opposition: “Others talk, we do. Others scream, we build houses. Others criticise, we deliver water to our people.”