Ramaphosa pays homage to Zuma during ANC conference wrap-up

JOHANNESBURG –African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa paid homage to his predecessor Jacob Zuma in his closing speech at the party’s elective conference in Johannesburg.

“It was during your tenure president and thanks to your vision that the National Planning Commission was established and produced the country’s first National Development Plan,” he said.

Speaking during his maiden address as ANC leader in Nascrec, Johannesburg, he said Zuma’s framework for economic and social change will guide the country “for many years to come.”

“History will record that it was at your insistence that South Africa expanded its antiretroviral programme rapidly and progressively to be the largest in the world. Through your intervention, we have made great strides in combating the epidemic. Many lives have been saved and many infections prevented.”

Ramaphosa said he was accustomed to Zuma, who usually closed the conference.

He said early Thursday that he felt like he was walking in Zuma’s shoes.

“We cannot close this, the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress, without paying tribute to you for your contribution over many decades to the struggle for freedom, democracy and development.”

On a lighter note, Ramaphosa said he would miss Zuma’s humour and the sweets he shared.The anti-apartheid hero garnered 2,440 votes against Ms Dlamini-Zuma’s 2,261/eNCA