'Never, never and never again, must South Africa go through what we have gone through,' says Cyril Ramaphosa
President says the ruling party has learnt its lesson
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday the ANC has learnt its lesson in the last few years and it will no longer allow corruption and patronage to compromise the delivery of its mandate.
“What we are saying is that never, never and never again, must South Africa go through what we have gone through where there is sleaze, where there is malfeasance and where there is rampant corruption,” he said.
Ramaphosa was speaking to reporters shortly after casting his vote at the Hitekani Primary School in Soweto, south of Johannesburg.
A large crowd of supporters and residents of Chiawelo, the area Ramaphosa grew up in, gathered to get a glimpse of the president before he cast his vote just before midday on Wednesday.
He said the party knows that it had committed mistakes in the recent past and it was apologetic about that.
“We have made mistakes but we have been sorry about those mistakes and we are saying our people should reinvest their confidence in us,” Ramaphosa said.
The president said he was satisfied that South Africans were out casting their ballots and was confident that the ANC would get a renewed mandate or be elected back into power.
“Corruption got into the way, patronage got into the way and not focusing on the needs of our people got in the way,” he said of the party’s turbulent past.
Ramaphosa said the commissions of inquiry currently under way were revealing a lot of what the party had done wrong.
“Now we are owning up to that. We are saying we are going to correct the bad ways of the past,” he said.
Ramaphosa cast his vote alongside his wife Dr Tshepo Motsepe and was accompanied by IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini and Gauteng premier David Makhura.
There was pandemonium when the president entered the school area as voters and non-voters alike scrambled to get a glance of the ANC president.
He said the response of the people to the call to vote for the ANC has been amazing.
He assured voters that an ANC government will act on the recommendations of the commissions of inquiry.
"Our people hate corruption. They don’t appreciate corruption and they know corruption acts against their interest. It takes money out of their mouth, takes money out of service delivery,” he said.