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Voters will come back to the ANC, 'their natural home' – Ramaphosa

14th December 2018 BY: News24Wire
President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa believes the majority of South Africans will "come back to the African National Congress (ANC), their natural home" ahead of the 2019 elections, he said on Thursday.

Speaking to Radio 702 talk show host Xolani Gwala about the ANC garnering only 53.59% in the 2014 elections, he said he was "confident that we will not get below 50%".

"In fact, we are going to even top the 2014 numbers, go way beyond," he insisted.

"The ANC is renewing itself. Some of the reasons why people walked away from the ANC was because of what we were going through. They can see we are in the process of renewal and renewal is something people love.

"So I expect majority of South Africans to come back to the ANC, their natural home. This is the hope. We are going to demonstrate once again that we are indeed that Parliament of the people."

Ramaphosa said he had been given a clear mandate on what to prioritise when he became president – unity and renewal.

'Beyond unity, there is just chaos'

"Unity is a process. It was never going to be an overnight event or success story. After we went through a very divisive conference like we did, we had to take very careful steps to unite the ANC," he said.

"Right now we are in the process of uniting the African National Congress. It's been a bumpy ride, but we are smoothening out the bumps, from province to province. The provinces you would have thought are fraught with disunity are now becoming united. They are beginning to gel, because largely our comrades have realised there is no other option."

People don't want to see a divided ANC, Ramaphosa said.

"Beyond unity there is just chaos, total disaster. There's even loss of votes and confidence of the people of our country."

Ramaphosa also broached the Bosasa debacle, a month after his campaign team said it would pay back the R500 000 donation that was given to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign.

Ramaphosa in a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly said the donation by Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson was received without his knowledge in October 2017.

President denies corruption allegations

His campaign management team said to avoid conflicts of interests and to eliminate any expectation of "reciprocal intent, action or preferential treatment by donors, real or perceived", the fundraising team was isolated from other operations.

Ramaphosa had last month responded to a question from Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane over the payment by saying that he had questioned Andile Ramaphosa and learned that the payment was in respect of a consultancy contract his son's company had signed with Bosasa, now named African Global Operations. But just hours later, Andile denied to News24 that this specific payment ever reached him.

Ramaphosa's letter to the Speaker read that this reply to the question was based on the information that was at his disposal at the time, "regarding a business relationship that my son's company has with the company African Global Operations".

Ramaphosa maintained that he had answered honestly at the time.

"There is no corruption in all of this," he insisted.

"People are trying to peddle that there is corruption, that me and my son are corrupt. There is no truth in that. If there was, I would own up." 

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EDITED BY: News24Wire
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