The CR17 campaign team – which brings together like-minded individuals to support the candidature of Cyril Ramaphosa as the next ANC President – takes extreme exception to claims made in an article in the Sunday Times (30 July 2017).
The claims about the management of the campaign in the article titled “Bossy whites anger Cyril backers” are inaccurate, insulting and racist.
For the record, the CR17 campaign consists of South Africans of all races from across the country.
The campaign, in its approach, management and staffing, promotes the principles of non-racialism and non-sexism. Claims that the campaign is run by whites are not only untrue and inherently racist, but they diminish the contribution that those individuals involved in the campaign have made over many years to the struggle for a free and democratic South Africa. They are all tried and tested members of the African National Congress. Some of these comrades were members of Umkhonto we Sizwe and served time in apartheid jails in the fight for our democracy.
The campaign is overseen by a political committee of senior ANC leaders at both a national and provincial level. There are 12 people in the national management team, all of whom all have a long history of service to the ANC and the country. The campaign is assisted by a number of volunteers and service providers who together represent a cross-section of South African society.
The CR17 campaign promotes the unity and renewal of the African National Congress. It seeks to restore the values and character of the ANC as a selfless champion of the South African people. In advancing this effort, CR17 campaigns for the election of a leadership that has the commitment, capacity and integrity to effectively lead the organisation and the country.
Since its establishment, the campaign has called on all ANC members and supporters who share this objective to work together – within the structures, practices and discipline of the ANC – to build a united, strong and mass-based movement.
The claims made in the article appear to be part of a narrative perpetuated by those opposed to Cyril Ramaphosa’s candidacy about his supposed ‘closeness’ to whites. Ramaphosa’s record in the ANC, government and business underscores his unwavering commitment to non-racialism and to the empowerment of black and women South Africans.
The CR17 campaign is concerned about how race is being increasingly used as a political weapon to undermine the integrity of comrades.
The CR17 campaign will continue to work for a movement and a country which, in the words of Nelson Mandela, is a better home for all.
CR17 Campaign Co-ordinator
CR17 Campaign Manager
02 August 2017