Royal approval for Cyril Ramaphosa in Eastern Cape

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa received a boost to his campaign for the ANC leadership over the weekend with a strong endorsement from AbaThembu Acting King Azenathi Dalindyebo‚ who said his nation had pinned their hopes on him for the revival and unity of the ANC.

Jailed King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s eldest son described Ramaphosa as the man who would lead and restore the organisation to its former glory.

Ramaphosa was in Mthatha on Saturday for an ANC rally. In line with African royal protocol he paid the king a courtesy visit first at Bumbane Great Place‚ about 50km away.

Acting King Azenathi assured Ramaphosa that he has the blessings of his ancestors and the AbaThembu going into the ANC national conference on December 16-20.

“He is the right person to steer South Africa in the right direction. We need people like him who can stabilise our economy‚ who can stabilise our country. We grant him the most favourable opportunity to take over South Africa. We do believe he will be ANC president and will deliver the January 8 statement as the [State] President‚” Azenathi said.

Ramaphosa said he was humbled by the endorsement and called Bumbane Great Place the original home of the ANC.

“May the wishes of the king be fulfilled at the conference. I am honoured to be welcomed in this way by the king and his people‚” said Ramaphosa.

Later‚ Ramaphosa and the acting king were driven to the well-attended rally where Azenathi and ANC Youth League national executive member Thembi Siweya again publicly endorsed Ramaphosa and received huge applause.

Azenathi and Ramaphosa called for a revived‚ united‚ strong ANC at peace with itself‚ one without corrupt leaders fighting over positions and access to resources or state capture.

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