African National Congress (ANC) heavyweight, Bheki Cele, said the entire party was behind newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Speaking at the ANC 106 anniversary celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal, Cele acknowledged that the governing party had just experienced one of its most tumultuous periods but added that it had emerged from its 54th National Conference stronger than it was before.
Establishing unity was a common theme for the organisation in 2017 and Cele insists that this concept was now becoming a reality. He said the ANC had been through rough patches before, adding that it would probably go through rough patches again in the future.
The critical factor is that it had emerged from conference in one piece.
“It is always so when you are going to an election, there will be a bit of a rough patch. Even at the branch level, even at the regional. Then we go there, we get cleansed at the conference, come up with a leadership and we go forward,” said Cele on Monday.
The contest between those who supported Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the ANC Presidency was brutal and a lot of negativity had manifested itself in the organisation during that period. However, Cele said that level of factionalism was no more, adding that Ramaphosa had won over the soul of the ANC.
“I haven’t heard anybody saying Cyril Ramaphosa is not my President, after the conference. Even the people in the conference, who we know very well, that were on either side with the NDZ or the CR17. Look, those are gone now,” added Cele.
“There is an ANC leadership that has been elected. We will follow them. Yes, those potholes, we need to go back, patch them and work towards the unity, going forward, especially in this province. What I love about this province is that we all agreed, that maybe we went a little overboard towards conference but we have all agreed that we need to come back, sit together and resolve this thing.”