Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver January 8 statement at 7pm on Friday
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the ANC's January 8 statement at 7pm on Friday.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the statement will for the first time be delivered on virtual platforms, which will be made widely available.
Head of the organising committee Nomvula Mokonyane outlined planned virtual events that will precede the delivery of the statement. These will include:
- interviews with ANC stalwarts who will reflect on the importance of the January 8 statement;
- messages of support from the party’s alliance partners;
- a Peter Mokaba memorial lecture by the Youth League; as well as
- a Charlotte Maxeke inter-generational programme.
“For the first time in our history, January 8 will be held under extraordinary circumstances imposed on us by the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be a significant departure from past practices,” Mokonyane said.
“This year’s January 8 celebrations will be a virtual affair, including the build-up activities. As you are aware, there will be no mass rally as on previous occasions. This is part of our commitment towards preserving lives in the midst of this deadly virus. As a leader of society, we have a duty to lead by example.”
The input made by Mbeki is said to be around the length of the January 8 statement, as well as repetition regarding the issue of renewal.
Echoing Mabe’s words, Mokonyane said, “Comrade Thabo Mbeki spoke like everyone else in the meeting” and made valuable remarks that were taken into consideration. The statement would not be a “compilation” of who said what but would be a statement representing the entire national executive committee.
The baobab is renowned for its magical powers and symbolic value.Nomvula Mokonyane
“We were honoured to have been joined by our two former presidents, comrade Thabo Mbeki and comrade Jacob Zuma, who continue to be the fountain of wisdom for our movement.
“The meeting benefited a great deal from their invaluable inputs which helped to shape the content and direction of the statement,” Mokonyane said.
The impact of Covid-19 on the economy and life in general, as well as the acquisition of vaccines, is expected to form a big part of the January 8 statement.
To signify its 109th birthday celebrations, the ANC has chosen the logo of a baobab tree, a species estimated to be more than 3,000 years old.
“The baobab is renowned for its magical powers and symbolic value to many indigenous African people, as well as its functional usefulness,” Mokonyane said.
“The age and utility of this tree suggests endurance, wisdom, endowment and bounty. In the 109th anniversary celebration of the ANC, the tree symbolises the sustained presence of the ANC in our lives and its ability to weather all manner of storms in pursuit of the liberation of all South Africans.”