President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that in honouring Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s dying wishes, the ANC would not back down on its land reform resolutions.
Speaking at her birthplace in Bizana at the Eastern Cape’s provincial memorial service yesterday, Ramaphosa insisted Madikizela-Mandela would not rest in peace until this was realised.
“[Madikizela-Mandela] was determined to correct the original sin of violent dispossession of the people’s land and wealth, and we are cognisant of the fact that [she] will only rest in peace when the dignity of our people [has been restored] by ensuring that yes, equal claim to the land of their forebears, and I want to assure all and sundry that this we will not retract from, we will ensure that what Mam’ Winnie fought for, we will want to realise,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa was speaking just days after the Democratic Alliance effectively declared war on the ANC’s resolution, which was adopted in parliament, to enact expropriation of land without compensation by amending the constitution.
Speaking after the opposition party’s federal congress last weekend, DA leader Mmusi Maimane vowed to fight to ensure the property clause was retained in the Section 25 of the constitution.
Parliament is in the process of receiving public representations on the resolution, which seeks to fast-track land reform. Maimane argued there was no need to change the constitution in order to fast-track land reform.
Ramaphosa also emphasised the call for the ANC to achieve and maintain unity.
“What [Madikizela-Mandela] also struggled and fought for was the unity of the ANC, and we told her that we had resolved that we are renewing the ANC and we are going to continue uniting the ANC, and Mam’ Winnie was overjoyed, because she said this is what has been her lifelong task and she would like to see us achieving that task.”
A memorial service for Mam’ Winnie will be held today at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.