African National Congress (ANC) deputy president David Mabuza has called on party members to throw weight behind president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mabuza says if Ramaphosa is given support he will succeed in leading the party.

Mabuza addressed supporters of the ANC during a wreath-laying ceremony at the tombstone of the late party president Josiah Gumede in Pietermaritzburg.

Honouring Gumede’s life, Mabuza pleaded with members of the party to stop factionalism.

“We have heard what the General Secretary of SACP is saying, and we do acknowledge that the relationship with our alliance has got challenges, but we will be making it our priority to find each other.”

He was accompanied by party Chairperson Gwede Mantashe, NEC member Zweli Mkhize and the party provincial leadership.

The ANC is on a campaign to renew and unite itself. Its leaders hailed the late president Gumede for his role in uniting both the party and the tripartite alliance.

However, SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande, who also attended the gathering, called on the new ANC leadership to also focus on renewing relations with its alliance partners.

“I thought to myself, I would not miss this event to celebrate ANC 106 birthday and celebrate our legend Josiah Gumede. Let me conclude by saying comrades, let us not just come to graveyards, lay wreath, then forget about the challenges facing the alliance. ANC is facing huge challenges. We all know that.”

“As SACP, we strongly believe that we have to revisit our relationship with the ANC. We understand there are good things and also there are things we do not agree on.”

Meanwhile, the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee says they have a lifeline awaiting the party NEC to pronounce on the current leadership battle in court.

In 2017, the Pietermaritzburg High Court nullified the ANC provincial elective conference of 2015, a decision the current PEC are appealing.

ANC Provincial Deputy Chairperson Willies Mchunu says they will respect the decision of the mother-body on the matter.

The Gumede family has urged the ANC to take the remains of the late Gumede to their home in Bergville.

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