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The African National Congress’ (ANC) new president Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his closing remarks at the ANC’s 54th national conference at Nasrec in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“The African National Congress wishes to send a clear message to all South Africans that we are resolved to be a more responsive and more accountable leadership and movement.”
Ramaphosa vowed to root out corruption, stimulate economic growth, and unite not only the governing party, but South Africa as well.
The five-day-long conference saw a number of delays and despite hopes to conclude by late afternoon on Wednesday, Ramaphosa only took to the podium at 24:09.
Contrary to conference procedure, Ramaphosa also addressed roughly 5000 delegates before the party’s new National Executive Committee was announced.
The conference adopted various resolutions to root out corruption and renew the party’s integrity.
Ramaphosa says the ANC is committed to tackling the issues of corruption both in the public and private sectors.
He called for thorough investigation into alleged corruption at Steinhoff International – the global retailer that admitted to accounting irregularities which saw the company’s share prices plummet.
“We must also act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks,” adds Ramaphosa.
Earlier on Wednesday, the ANC’s sub committee on organisational renewal confirmed the party agrees with the recommendations by the Public Protector’s State of Capture report.
It also instructed government to establish the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture immediately.
The actions of Comrades who are deployed by the movement should always be informed by the interests of our members and our people, not personal gain,” remarks Ramaphosa.
Outgoing ANC president has been implicated in the Public Protector’s report, and is also facing possible prosecution by the National Prosecuting Authority in relation to over 700 counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering.
Ramaphosa however had many praises for Zuma.
Referring specifically to the expansion of the antiretroviral programme under Zuma’s leadership and the adoption of the National Development Plan during his first term in office, Ramaphosa thanked Zuma for the“10 years he has spent as the President of our movement and for a lifetime of service to the people of this country”.
The party’s new president further paid tribute to his opponent in the race to become president, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
He says Dlamini-Zuma demostrated her commitment to the ANC during her campaign in the run-up to the national conference.
Half of the top six officials are said to be from Dlamini-Zuma’s camp.
Ramaphosa assured delegates the newly elected leadership will work together as a united front.
He commended delegates for giving them a unity mandate and defeating slate politics with their vote for a top six, considered to belong to different factions.