President Cyril Ramaphosa has used the commemoration of struggle stalwart Charlotte Maxeke to condemn corruption within the ANC’s ranks.
Leading the ANC in the Eastern Cape’s marking of what would have been Maxeke’s 150th birthday, Ramaphosa said restoring the party’s integrity was a priority they would not turn a blind eye to.
“People of South Africa see the ANC as their heritage. And heritage is something you hold close to your chest. You guard it, you love it, you secure it and you uphold it. We must also uproot corruption. I know the locals here do not want corruption because of only a few who benefit from it,” Ramaphosa said.
— Cyril Ramaphosa ???????? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 7, 2021
The president’s remarks come after announcing recently that ANC members and leaders charged with corruption and wrongdoing, including the organisation’s embattled secretary-general Ace Magashule, had 30-days in which to voluntarily step aside or be suspended.
Ramaphosa, under pressure to put the party’s house in order, assured Eastern Cape residents and the nation about cleaning up the ANC and restoring its principles.
ANC NEC member Dakota Lekgote said anti-corruption efforts cannot be aimed just at Magashule.
“We cannot reduce the fight against corruption to one person. Corruption takes away from the poor. But as it is now, we cannot reduce it to one person,” Lekgote said.
The president also hailed the party’s Eastern Cape provincial youth league for the work it had done and for it pledging allegiance to the ANC.
Ramaphosa said the embattled youth structure was about to take off.
“So the youth league is about to take off. And I’m really pleased about this leadership core we’ve put in place. And they want, as they say, they are committed to uniting the ANC. What they [are] seeing whereby the ANC is being dragged here and there, they want to see come to an end,” Ramaphosa said.
Meanwhile, the ANC Women’s League said Maxeke would be remembered for the role she played and for being a pioneer.
Maxeke, one of the first black women to graduate with a BSC degree, took pride and initiative in building education in the country.
“Charlotte was a firm believer in the African diaspora. She was an intellectual, unionist and communist. She was a woman of stature,” said ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini.