By ZINGISA MVUMVU, LULAMILE FENI and NATHI OLIFANT
“The ANC is back with a bang and we will be dealing with those stealing public money.”
These were the strong words from ANC newly-elected president Cyril Ramaphosa as the governing party celebrated 106 years of existence at a cake-cutting ceremony in a packed-to-capacity East London City Hall last night.
Ramaphosa preached unity in the party saying it was “not an option” as his new national executive committee (NEC) takes charge.
The revival of the ANC was in motion and he urged all members to rally behind a “top-class leadership armed with the best policies the country has ever seen”.
In this revival the ANC would “ask for love back” from supporters who had abandoned it. The new broom would sweep clean and “return the ANC to its glory days”.
The top six officials of the ANC were all in attendance and proceeded to cut the cake, marking the end of last night’s formal activities.
The main celebration is set to take place on Saturday at the Buffalo City Stadium.
Ramaphosa is to pay a courtesy visit to at least three Eastern Cape royal houses today ahead of the January 13 rally.
In the morning he will visit AmaXhosa King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu at his Nqadu Great Place in Willowvale, followed by a visit to AmaRharhabe Regent-Queen Noloyiso Sandile in Mngqesha Great Place near King William’s Town in the afternoon.
ANC provincial chairman Oscar Mabuyane said they were also working on having Ramaphosa and his top five visit Nelson Mandela’s home and gravesite in Qunu on Thursday.
“He will then pay a courtesy visit to the acting AbaThembu King Azenathi Dalindyebo at his Bumbane Great Place in Mthatha, where we expect to have a mini rally on Thursday,” said Mabuyane.
He said ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule would lead another delegation to visit the birthplace of another late ANC president, Dr AB Xuma, at Manzana in Ngcobo.
Mabuyane said the role played by monarchs and other traditional leaders in South Africa in the establishment of the ANC was immeasurable.
Ramaphosa is also due to visit Cradock to pay respects to the late Cradock Four struggle heroes.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa and his former rival Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma yesterday made their first high-profile public appearance together since her defeat.
Speaking at Ohlange in Inanda‚ north of Durban‚ where he and other ANC officials laid a wreath at the gravesite of the ANC’s founding president John Langalibalele Dube‚ Ramaphosa called for unity in KwaZulu-Natal.
He confirmed that he had met President Jacob Zuma on Sunday but did not divulge what they discussed.
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