KZN killings: Ramaphosa calls for unity

President says if Mandela was alive he would reject what is going on

KZN killings: Ramaphosa calls for unity

24 May 2018

While remaining optimistic about the progress and development of South Africa's economy, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday denounced the ongoing political bloodshed in KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking at the 20th African Renaissance Annual Festival at the International Convention Centre in Durban, Ramaphosa took the opportunity to address the continuing violence.

In recent weeks, a spate of killings have left three politicians dead.

On Tuesday, the local leader of the shack dwellers movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo, was brazenly shot and killed at his home.

Ramaphosa said that if former president Nelson Mandela were alive, he would have rejected what is going on.

"This dream that Madiba had, a dream of unity, was not only for Africa, but also for our own country. He also had that dream for KZN. If Madiba were alive today he would say: 'I dream of the realisation of unity of our people here in KZN.'

"He would have spoken very vocally and loudly about some of the expressions of disagreements that manifests itself in the killing of each other when we disagree."

Expropriation of land

Ramaphosa said that Mandela would have called for discussions.

"Madiba would have said unity is underpinned by dialogue and consensus building. Instead of killing each other, we rather build unity that we so need here in KZN. Madiba would have said the killings of one another should have come to an end. I stand here today and say the killings in this province must come to an end."

He said that peace was the only solution for the tumultuous province.

"When we find a way to sit down and discuss what makes us differ, then we will find peace and a way to develop our province and indeed our country."

Ramaphosa also touched on the ANC policy of radical economic transformation, insisting that the expropriation of land was a vital part of development.

He said the apartheid system had designed the economy and had used resources to "serve the interests of the minority".

Ramaphosa said that land had been utilised to advance the interests of the minority, and that 87% of land had been set aside for less than 10% of the people, while the majority were allocated just 13%.

"This is what we have had to deal with, and will deal with. We will better utilise the resources of our country. We must distribute land to our people by expropriating and distributing it to the majority of our people."