02/04/2017 07:55 SAST | Updated 02/04/2017 08:03 SAST

ANC Gauteng, SACP lash out at current ANC leaders

Chants of "Zuma must fall" were heard at Ahmed Kathrada’s memorial service as his wife Barbara Hogan declared that President Jacob Zuma must step down.

AP Photo/Denis Farrell
Protesters raise placards against South African President Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg, Saturday, April 1, 2017, during a memorial service for anti-apartheid stalwart Ahmed Kathrada, who died Tuesday. The memorial service for Kathrada turned into a protest against South African President Zuma. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

Johannesburg - The ANC Gauteng's branch will not sell its soul, the party's provincial chief whip, Brian Hlongwa, said at a memorial service for anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada in Johannesburg on Saturday.

"They might torture our bodies, break our bones but our souls are intact, our souls are not for sale," said the politician to a cheering, overflowing crowd gathered at the city hall.

"The ANC does not exist for its own sake... the ANC on behalf of the people has a historical mandate of educating the people of South Africa."

Hlongwa also said that "there is no struggle without casualties, no matter how wide the patronage might be, no matter how deep the pockets are".

He said that the Gauteng ANC was "ready, willing and available" to take action in speaking "truth to power".

Speaking afterwards, on behalf of the SACP, Solly Mapaila, similarly expressed fierce anger at the ruling party suggesting people had to rise up against its "moral and political decay".

"The ANC must choose either the people of the country or the Guptas."

He said the SACP expressed solidarity with fired tourism minister, Derek Hanekom, and joked that his party was not "captured" by similiarly axed Finance Minister Gordhan, but by the "the values of our movement, the African National Congress" that he embodied.

"We are calling on our people to stop the moral decay of the ANC... The time has arrived... The decades of sacrifice of our leaders can be vanquished and vanished in a few days, that is why we have to come out..."

Earlier, chants of "Zuma must fall" erupted as Kathrada's widow, Barbara Hogan declared that President Jacob Zuma worshipped at an altar of corruption and must step down.