Ramaphosa going after the Muslim vote

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By Zukile Majova
Political Editor

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the Muslim community to return to active politics and help the ANC win the 29 May election, and continue the fight for the economic emancipation of the poor.

Ramaphosa joined the morning prayer in Laudium, Pretoria, on Thursday morning to wish the Muslim community a blessed Eid Mubarak and delivered an address as they celebrated the end of the Ramadan fast. 

“It is regrettable that over the years, many of our once vibrant politically active communities have retreated into the background of our national life,” he said.

“Much of our politics has come to be defined by internal squabbles and regrettably by racial and other forms of chauvinism.

“This has led to some of these communities questioning their place in South Africa today.” 

The president, whose government has charged Israel with committing genocide against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, told the Muslim community that the ANC needs it now as it prepares to fight the all-important election.

“The message of the ANC, which I lead, to you today is that your country needs you. Your country looks upon you. Join us in rebuilding South Africa,” said Ramaphosa.

The president’s appearance in Laudium forms part of the ANC’s strategy of rekindling old but strategic partnerships with the Muslim and Indian communities that could be crucial in highly contested provinces.

The party has a long history of fighting the apartheid regime when it was a liberation movement and will be calling on various organisations in the Indian and Muslim communities to help it win the election.

The community produced many anti-apartheid activists who either joined the ANC or helped it fight the apartheid regime in different liberation movements and organisations.

Such struggle heroes include Rahima Moosa, the Cachalia family, Aziz and Essop Pahad, Ahmed Kathrada, Yusuf Dadoo, Dullah Omar and organisations like the SA Indian Congress.

The Muslim and Indian communities are already campaigning with the ANC in knife-edge provinces like KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng.

None of the main parties is guaranteed to secure an outright majority in any of them.

The ANC will need the Indian vote in KZN, where a resurgent IFP and the newly formed MK Party are threatening to unseat it from the provincial government.

In the Western Cape, the coloured community and the Muslim community are at odds with the ruling DA, which supports Israel in the war that has killed over 33,000 Palestinians.

In Gauteng, the ANC is under pressure from the DA-led Multi-Party Charter for South Africa, which plans to form a coalition that could govern the province in the future.

Pictured above: President Ramaphosa joined the morning prayer in Laudium, Pretoria, on Thursday morning.

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