Zuma is still ANC leader, says Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured South Africans that his working relationship with former head of state Jacob Zuma is not stringent and that he is still a leader of the ANC.

Speaking during a wreath-laying ceremony for former ANC leader John Langalibalele Dube at Inanda, north of Durban, Ramaphosa said Zuma still had the right to lead the masses.

“We are displaying unity of the African National Congress. It’s not only around my presence here and former president Jacob Zuma, but all of you being here. But of course, it’s even more special when I walk in once again at [Ohlange Institute] with comrade Jacob Zuma who I worked with for many years and who is still the leader in the broader ANC.”

He said Zuma is still able to play a role of uniting the ANC and, with them sitting side by side at the prestigious event of the party’s 107 birthday celebration, was a sign that they are serious about unity.

“We have come here to take our victory march from John Langalibalele Dube. Myself and Nxamalala [Zuma’s clan name] are going to take this victory and spread it around KwaZulu-Natal and around the nation.”

Weekend reports suggested that Ramaphosa will have a formal meeting with Zuma around a number of issues. Speculation is that Ramaphosa will address recent controversial statements made by his predecessor regarding land issue.

Inanda, known for having produced ANC leaders such as late Dube and Pixley ka Isaka Seme, among others, was hosting the annual birthday celebration of the liberation movement that was formed in 1912.

Those present included National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, ANC national executive committee members, regional leaders as well as civil society leaders.

Ramaphosa is expected to deliver keynote address at Ohlange Stadium, a few metres from Dube’s home and gravesite.

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