President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed crowds at the birthday celebrations of the ANC party’s 107th birthday today, surprising people by saying that former president Jacob Zuma is still the leader in the ‘broader ANC’
As a part of the week-long 107th birthday celebrations, President Cyril Ramaphosa gave his annual ‘January 8’ statement at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda, eThekwini.
Ramaphosa took the opportunity to assure South Africans that his working relationship with ex-president Jacob Zuma was not strict and that he was still a leader of the party.
Shocking some people who were sure that the current president would take the opportunity to distant himself from the infamous Zuma, the president said the former head of state still had the right to lead the masses.
“We are displaying unity of the African National Congress. It’s not only around my presence here and former president Jacob Zuma, but all of you being here. But of course, it’s even more special when I walk in once again at [Ohlange Institute] with comrade Jacob Zuma who I worked with for many years and who is still the leader in the broader ANC.”
Ramaphosa said the ex-president is still capable of doing his part in unifying the ANC and, sitting side by side at the event, it was a sign that it was no empty promise.
“We have come here to take our victory march from John Langalibalele Dube. Myself and Nxamalala [Zuma’s clan name] are going to take this victory and spread it around KwaZulu-Natal and around the nation.”
The speech might not have had the reception Ramaphosa had hoped for, with reports streaming in that the crowd had reacted by chanting ‘Zuma’.
The reason as to why this happened remains unclear, with some saying people had simply been happy to see the ex-president. Others were less generous with their interpretation, saying that people at the event had been ‘out of order’.
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