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Politics, dinner, unity

The new ANC president addressed a gala dinner on the eve of the party's 106th birthday celebrations.

Cyril Ramaphosa
AFP

Unity was again the message by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa during his speech at a gala dinner ahead of the ANC's 106th birthday celebrations in East London.


"Unity to us is therefore not an option, it is not a choice, it is an imperative," says Ramaphosa.


This he says was the mandate given to the party's new leadership by delegates at the 54th national conference in December.


But he adds, the party is not trying to achieve unity for the sake of unity, but to improve the lives of South Africans in general.


The ANC president kept much of his speech light.


Speaking about the diversity of the new leadership, Ramaphosa joked about skin complexity saying some have a light complexion while others "are handsome like me".


He further jokingly said some "speak at a very high decible", such as Fikile Mbalula, while the ANC Secretary General speaks at a very low decible.


Ramaphosa however says he considers the diversity of the new leadership group a strength.


Ramaphosa is set to again address delegates on Saturday, when he delivers his maiden January 8 statement.

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