Mantashe: ANC bus crash victims paid the highest price for solidarity

Gwede Mantashe says unity remains the bedrock upon which the ruling party was built on.

Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the deaths of 10 volunteers in a bus crash was the highest price they could have paid in the name of unity and solidarity.

Mantashe is earlier addressed thousands of people at the memorial service of the five men and five women who died in Sunday's accident.

WATCH: Ekurhuleni 10 remembered at emotional memorial service.

They were travelling home from the ANC's manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth when the bus overturned.

It has been an emotional day for the families and friends of the volunteers who have been described as dedicated members of the ANC movement.

Mantashe says unity remains the bedrock upon which the ruling party was built on.

"The ANC needs unity today more than any time before."

WATCH: Emotions run high as families identify ANC bus crash victims.

VICTIMS DESCRIBED AS DEDICATED MEMBERS OF THE ANC

Earlier, the ten victims were described as dedicated members of the ANC who died being strong supporters of the movement.

A highlight was a moving tribute from fellow classmates of Scelo Kheswa, a grade 11 pupil from the OR Tambo High School, who was among those killed in the bus crash.

Family members of the victims at times had to be attended to by emergency officials.