South Africa marks 28 years of Mandela's prison release

Violet Powell
February 12, 2018

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 these qualities that we should seek to understand, appreciate and emulate as we embark upon the path of unity and renewal". He also faces possible impeachment, decade-old corruption charges could be reinstated by the end of the month and he is also the subject of a state capture commission of inquiry.

"Because our people want this matter to be finalised‚ the national executive committee will be doing exactly that".

"Comrades, we know that this matter to be finalised, we know you want closure", he said.

"So we leave this church well armed with the good blessings and as the leadership of the ANC we have been well empowered as we move ahead. and we manage this transition", said Ramaphosa.

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

The interests of people must be put first, not the interests of individuals, said Ramaphosa.

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Applause when Ramaphosa finally gets to #Zexit, 40 minutes into speech.

He said Ramaphosa had returned Gauteng province, where the ANC's headquarters is located in the country's commercial capital Johannesburg.

The jibe is in apparent reference to Cyril Ramaphosa's absence from politics to run businesses where he made a fortune before returning to active politics five years ago, becoming Zuma's successor.

The alleged negotiations come at a time when the ANC's top members are said to be urging Zuma to step down and let Ramaphosa take over as president.

Zuma, who has been implicated in a succession of scandals, was succeeded as leader of the ANC by his deputy Ramphosa in December and has faced mounting pressure to resign.

"We are determined to rebuild the confidence of our people in public institutions and restore the credibility of those elected to serve them". "As we emerge from a period of difficulty, a period of disunity and discord, this Nelson Mandela centenary year offers us what I would call, a new beginning".

On the same day in 1990, Nelson Mandela spoke to euphoric crowds who filled the packed public square in front of City Hall, hours after his release from prison.

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