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Ronald Lamola: Ramaphosa is going to finish his term

The NEC member told Eyewitness News that they will fight back any attempts to recall ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: EWN.

ELLIS PARK - ANC NEC member Ronald Lamola told Eyewitness News on Sunday any attempts to recall ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa would be fought.

Lamola added the leader would finish his term.

“We are going to ensure that there is no one who is going to do anything to the president. The people of this country and ANC members are clear, they love the president,” Lamola said.

He said attempts to de-campaign the party by some from within the organisation failed.

There has been persistent speculation in the ANC that former president Jacob Zuma’s allies in the party plan to recall Ramaphosa during the organisation’s next national general council.

Lamola said that wouldn't work.

“He’s going to finish his term, we will make sure. No one will do anything to the president. The people of the country love the president. We will give him unflinching and undivided support."

He said they were aware of attempts by some from within the organisation to de-campaign the party.

“There are those who are trying to de-focus us from the campaign but we’ve stayed on the ball.”

He added the ANC was working hard to unite itself beyond elections.

ANC’S INTERNAL BATTLES

The ANC battles internal divisions, which have continued after its 2017 elective conference. The divisions have played out in public, marring the elections campaign.

This week, Ramaphosa and Magashule differed sharply, with the president dismissing Magashule’s claims that his government bugged his phone.

Magashule’s public claims were seen by Ramaphosa’s supporters as an attempt to de-campaign him just days ahead of the elections on 8 May.

There have also been reports that Zuma allies helped set up alternative political parties, such as the African Transformation Movement.

“There have been those that have tried to defocus us from the campaign but we have stayed on the message. We have our eyes on the ball in terms of the manifesto and the vision we want to sell to South Africa, and we believe that should unite us … the other side-shows that are happening we have decided that we must ignore them,” Lamola said.

He was speaking to EWN ahead of the party’s Siyanqoba rally at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. The rally is the party’s final push for votes, concluding what has been a gruelling campaign.

Ramaphosa took over in 2018, when Zuma was forced by the party's newly elected national executive committee to resign.

Wednesday’s election will give him his first mandate from the South African public to govern.

OVER 100,000 EXPECTED TO FILL UP ELLIS PARK STADIUM

The ANC expects over 100,000 people within the stadium precinct with overflow areas set up.

However, it has been a slow start, with few supporters within the stadium by 9am. The stadium doors opened at 7am.

ANC Gauteng chairperson David Makhura also said on Sunday they were not worried about filling the stadium.

“This is a done deal. If you guys are focusing on the rally, this place will be fully packed, my mind is on the 8th of May."

He said they expecteded close to 2000 buses to make their way to the stadium.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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