African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed that the party’s leadership will rebuild and restore it in memory of Solomon Tsekisho Plaatjie, its first Secretary-General.
Ramaphosa made the remarks at a wreath-laying ceremony at Plaatjie’s gravesite in Kimberley, Northern Cape on Wednesday morning.
The ceremony was part of events marking the ANC’s founding on 8 January, 1912. Plaatjie was among the party’s founders.
‘Unity and renewal of the ANC’
Ramaphosa said, “To the sacred memory of Cde Solomon Tsekisho Plaatjie. Your intellectualism inspired the vision of the African National Congress.
“We pledge to you that we will continue on the path you crafted in the beginning. We will restore the ANC to be the ANC that you envisaged.
“During #ANC54, we recommitted to the full unity and renewal of the ANC, with disciplined membership, committed servant leaders who subscribe to the highest values of the ANC.
“We will rebuild the ANC to be strong, powerful, and continue to serve the interests of the people.”
Land reform at a faster rate
Ramaphosa hailed Plaatjie for articulating the “shock” of the violent dispossession of land felt by Africans at the time. He therefore pledged that the ANC will move faster on land reform.
“The dreams and aspirations that Sol Plaatje and his ilk felt will be realised when we act much faster on the land reform process,” he said.
The President was expected to later have breakfast with Plaatjie’s family, which had earlier complained of being neglected by the ANC.
He will also lead a cake-cutting ceremony to mark the ANC’s 108th anniversary before having lunch with faith-based and community leaders in Galeshwe.
The party’s top leadership is in various parts of the Northern Cape to drum up support for the January 8 rally scheduled for Saturday.
Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the ANC National Executive Committee’s (NEC) January 8 statement outlining the party’s priorities for the year.