Zuma's D-Day Nears as Ramaphosa Promises Power Transition

South African Deputy President and African National Congress party President Cyril Ramaphosa | AP

South African Deputy President and African National Congress party President Cyril Ramaphosa | AP

South Africans should be patient with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa as he holds talks with President Jacob Zuma for a transition of power, the party's national chairperson said on Saturday. It is Madiba's example that should inform our approach to the tasks that we must undertake.

Ramaphosa said it was important that the discussions were handled with care and goal "ensuring that we place the interests of the South African people first".

Ramaphosa called off a special sitting of the structure scheduled for last Wednesday and subsequently released a statement saying his talks with Zuma had been "constructive".

Ziyanda Peter, a 33-year-old unemployed mother of four from Langa township in Cape Town, is looking to Ramaphosa to rebuild the ANC and revive the hope that South Africans had for a better future when Mandela led the country.

"The successful resolution of this matter has significant consequences for the country and for the African National Congress". "It is therefore important that we manage the discussions that are now underway with care and goal, ensuring that we place the interests of South Africa first". "Comrades, as you want closure, we will be doing so by keeping our eyes on what is in the interest of all our people and how we continue to unite the nation".

"We know you want this matter to be finalised", Ramaphosa told a crowd of ANC supporters in Cape Town on Sunday.

Ramaphosa and his new ANC team have pledged to end corruption, misrule and cronyism within the government.

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He also saluted "such freedom fighters as Sheik Yusuf, Dr Abdullah Abdurahman, Cissy Gool, Alex La Guma, ZR Mahabane, Oscar Mpetha, Philip Kgosana, Ray Alexander, Dora Tamana, John Mtini, Reg September, Dullah Omar, Ben Turok, Annie Silinga, Essa Moosa, Johnny Issel, Jakes Gerwel, Archie Sibeko, Ashley Kriel and many others who were drawn from Cape Town".

He said 2018 will be the year of continuing Mandela's legacy of fighting corruption, and that those who are corrupt, and stealing from the poor, will be brought to justice.

"We will continue to resist any and all attempts to capture our state institutions for the self-enrichment of a few". Pressure has been mounting on him to quit since Ramaphosa took over the ANC leadership.

"We will rebuild the confidence of our people in public institutions and restore the credibility of those elected to serve in those institutions. Let the spirit of Mandela lift us all and make South Africa the country of our dreams", he said.

After missing out on becoming Nelson Mandela's deputy when the anti-apartheid icon swept to power in 1994, Ramaphosa withdrew from politics, switching focus to business.

Mandla Mandela, the former president's grandson who attended the rally, said the ANC's unity had to be preserved through the transition.

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