He addressed scores with the vigour needed to ascend to the ANC’s highest office.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes in slates but wants the losing one to accept the winning one as their elected leaders for the sake of the survival of the ANC.
He said if he himself doesn’t win in December he will just “accept the decision of the majority” and rally his support behind the newly elected leadership.
Ramaphosa spoke during the Mpumalanga SACP’s Red October rally in Mbombela on Saturday and said that everyone – both candidates and delegates – will have to understand that what comes first is actually the ANC and not individuals.
“So comrades as we go to the conference we must know that this is an important conference,” Ramaphosa said at the Mbombela rugby stadium.
“Those leaders who are standing for positions and who will not succeed must accept that those who will be elected are their leaders,” he said.
“They must accept that what comes first is democratic centralism,” Ramaphosa said.
He delivered the keynote address at the communist event together with SACP national deputy chairman Thulas Nxesi.
“Myself as Cyril Ramaphosa if I don’t get enough votes we must accept the decision of the majority of the delegates of the conference,” the Deputy President told supporters in black CR17 t-shirts.
“I’m willing to accept the decision of the majority of the conference. If I don’t succeed, I will humble myself and accept the results and the leadership that will be elected,” he said to applause.
Ramaphosa will face off with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in December when the ANC convenes its 54th national congress.
The two are forerunners in the race to succeed outgoing President, Jacob Zuma, on 16-20 December.
Other runners who have declared their interests for the ANC presidency are Lindiwe Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize, Baleka Mbete and Mathews Phosa.
The ANC in the province snubbed the rally, saying it was told nothing about it and instead endorsed the one held by the ANCWL in KwaMhlanga, addressed by Dlamini-Zuma.
Bonakele Majuba, the party’s leader in Mpumalanga, thanked the crowds for coming despite being intimidated, apparently by leaders of branches aligned to ANC provincial leader DD Mabuza – who is opposed to Ramaphosa ascending to the highest ANC job.
“We know that some of you were stopped while you were coming here. Buses were stopped and some of you were even told that if you come here you will lose your jobs and all those kind of things,” Majuba said.
(edited by ZK)
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