AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans from all walks of life must unite and reclaim the country from corrupt elements intent on destroying it.
Ramaphosa made the call when he delivered the eulogy at the funeral of John Nkadimeng, the liberation struggle stalwart who passed away at 93. Nkadimeng was buried in Johannesburg following a dignified funeral service attended by a few, in accordance with strict COVID-19 restrictions.
The South African president has launched a full-frontal attack on corruption following allegations that the R500-billion set aside to fight COVID-19, has been plundered by corrupt elements, some of them within his own party, the ANC.
Nkadimeng was the democratic South Africa’s first ambassador to Cuba.
Ramaphosa said: “We must firmly take back the reigns from those out to destroy our country. Now, more than ever, we have to hold fast to the lessons they taught us about serving our people, about respecting them, about heeding their concerns and about acting in their best interests. Let this be a turning point in the fight against corruption. Let us use this moment to banish this disease from our politics, from our movement, from our economy, from our country.
“Let the people of rural Sekhukhune, the domestic workers in our cities, the shopstewards in our factories, the people who John Nkadimeng led and served, rise up against those who would plunder our nation’s resources and lay waste to our democracy. Let us give our law enforcement agencies the support, the information and the means to act against all those responsible for such crimes against the people – no matter who they are or what positions they occupy. Let those of us who have been put in positions of responsibility examine our own conduct, search our consciences and act only and always in the interests of the people of this country.
“Now, more than ever, we have to stand united in our quest to restore our country to its founding values – values that Ntate Nkadimeng lived by. We must draw on his life’s example to recapture the spirit of humility and volunteerism. We must expend our every effort to take up the struggles against poverty, inequality, underdevelopment, disease and gender-based violence.
The world we seek to build, where there is true freedom, justice and equality, has still to be realised. Let it not be said in time that the selfless spirit that drove the men and women of the generation of Ntate Nkadimeng died with them. It is not enough to eulogise them and laud the values by which they lived. It is only by restoring that culture of selflessness, of integrity, of ethical leadership and of service to the people that will uphold their legacy.”
Gauteng Premier David Makhura also spoke out against corruption.
“As we bid farewell to Ntate Nkadimeng today, history calls upon us to have a new generation of the brave and courageous who are going to build a new economy for our country, a new society, who are going to end corruption completely,” Makhura said.