ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all party leaders and members to avoid getting involved in internal factions, which tend to spill over to society.

He is delivering the party’s January 8th statement as the governing party celebrates its 109th birthday. But this year, it is being delivered virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramaphosa says the ANC has the potential to return to its glory days, but only if they can root out corruption and infighting.

“It was these achievements that earned the ANC the confidence and trust of the people of our country. The trust that our people have invested in us should never be taken for granted. We know that to proclaim our roles re-stride our responsibility, we must renew and rebuild our movement and ensure that it remains true to its founding values and principles.”

Ramaphosa says they have declared this year as a year to fight coronavirus among other things.

“To defeat the coronavirus that is confronting us, secondly to place our economy to path of renewal and recovery. Thirdly to forge ahead with the fundamental renewal of the ANC. Fourthly we must work to build a better Africa and a better world.”

Ramaphosa’s January 8 Statement address:

Integrity Commission

Ramaphosa says they will strengthen the party’s Integrity Commission in the fight against corruption. He reiterates that every member accused of corruption must account to the Integrity Commission, adding that if such a member then faces disciplinary action they must voluntarily step aside or face suspension.

“We reiterate (…) that any member accused of or reported to be involved in corrupt practices should account to the Integrity Committee immediately or face disciplinary processes. Members who fail to give an acceptable explanation or to voluntarily step aside while they face disciplinary processes, investigative or prosecutorial processes will be summarily suspended. The NEC will soon finalise guidelines on the implementation of these resolutions it is only if we stand united against corruption that we can restore the integrity of our movement.”

Fight against state capture

The ANC president has assured party members that the fight against state capture in South Africa will be intensified this year. He says initiatives like the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will receive maximum support from the ANC-led government.

“We are going to intensify our efforts to end state capture in all its forms. One of our resolution of the 54 Elective Conference was to ensure that there is an establishment of a commission of inquiry into state capture. We need to ensure that the findings and resolutions of the Zondo Commission are used to ensure that such activities are never allowed to happen again.”

ANC and the outside world

109 years of the African National Congress is testimony to the organisation weathering many a storm. Most of its leaders fought for the country’s liberation thousands of miles away from South Africa. The party’s foundation – Unifying Africans – helped it navigate the storms.

SABC Foreign Editor Sophie Mokoena looks at how the ANC engaged the outside world.

Meanwhile, in the Eastern Cape, the ANC celebrated the party’s 109 birthday by handing over a newly built, furnished house to Nobantu Goniwe, the mother of the late MK combatant, Vuyani Goniwe.

Goniwe left the county for Angola for military training in 1977 at the age of 20 and was killed in 1978 by the members of the Bophuthatswana National Guard while trying to infiltrate the country via Bophuthatswana.

The 83-year-old Goniwe lived in an RDP house and says she has been waiting for this day for years.