NEWS
31/05/2018 05:59 SAST | Updated 31/05/2018 05:59 SAST

Ramaphosa Tells Muslim Community In Cape Town: We Have Disappointed You With Corruption

The president turned on the charm while breaking fast with the Muslim community in Cape Town, promising to address gentrification and gangsterism.

Presidency, Twitter

In what appears to be an early indication of the ANC's attempts to win back the Western Cape in next year's general election, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the Muslim community in Cape Town for Iftaar (breaking the fast), telling them that the ANC must admit that it has "disappointed you" with "corruption and neglect".

He offered glowing remarks about the Muslim community's contribution to South Africa and vowed that the ANC would offer an "ethical" election in the Western Cape.

Ramaphosa was invited by the Muslim Judicial Society (MJC) for Iftaar in Rylands. He was reportedly joined by higher education minister Naledi Pandor, ANC MP Mandla Mandela, a convert to Islam, deputy home affairs minister Fatima Chohan and economic development minister Ebrahim Patel.

According to News24, he said, "If we are to 'send you' to build this country, then we must as the ANC admit that we may have disappointed you in recent times through the prevalence of corruption and neglect.

"We are resolute that we will take full advantage of the new spirit of hope and renewal that has engulfed our country to decisively root out corruption both in the public and private sectors."

He reportedly said the presence of the Muslim community was "felt in our economy, from boardrooms to the factory floors."

"We look to you to be part of the national effort to grow our economy, to generate investment and to create jobs," he reportedly said.

"Gangsters, watch out. Because we are coming for you."

"There are many in this community that have the resources and the skills to be integrally involved in building an inclusive that serves all our people. Your contribution is evident, also in our culture – from your cuisine, to your music, to your faith."

The MJC's deputy president Shaykh Riad Fataar reportedly told Ramaphosa about a host of issues that concerned the Muslim community, including gentrification and a rise in rates and taxes in areas such as Bo Kaap, according to Daily Maverick.

Ramaphosa reportedly praised the Muslim community's "work advancing the interests of people who are less well off", and said he was "always so deeply, deeply impressed" by it. He also reportedly promised that Islam would "never, ever be banned again." "Not in South Africa," he reportedly said.

Ramaphosa promised that the ANC would return as government in the Western Cape.

"We know that you too have been deeply pained by the fact that the ANC is no longer the governing party in this province. We aim to change that," he said, adding that former ANC premier Ebrahim Rassool, now elections head for the province, would lead a "very ethical, very effective election campaign".

The president reportedly vowed to address the concerns raised by the community.

According to TimesLive, he said the ANC wanted to fix the "apartheid spatial planning" in the City of Cape Town and restore the Bo-Kaap to its former glory.

"We are making good progress together with the Muslim Judicial Council and the land claimants from Macassar to resolve the outstanding land claims."

He also reportedly said government was working towards eliminating gangsterism, adding,

"Gangsters, watch out. Because we are coming for you."