CAPE TOWN, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Saturday celebrated its 106th anniversary, vowing to rebuild itself from factionalism and corruption.
Thousands of ANC supporters gathered at the Absa Stadium in East London, Eastern Cape Province at a rally attended by the ANC's top leadership, led by newly elected ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Jacob Zuma attended the event as an ex officio member of the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC).
The celebration took place amid growing calls for Zuma to resign. Zuma has been criticized for his role as the former ANC president, which has led to erosion of people's confidence in the organization haunted by factionalism and corruption.
Delivering his first January 8 statement in celebration of the ANC's 106th anniversary, Ramaphosa said structures of the movement have been weakened and confidence of the people in the ANC has been eroded. January 8 marks the day the ANC was formed.
The development of social distance between elected leaders and the electorate has damaged the bond between the ANC and the people, Ramaphosa noted.
Stressing the importance of reconnecting the ANC with the people, Ramaphosa said the organization belongs to the people of South Africa and is the Parliament of the people.
"As we take this ANC into an era of unity, an era of renewal, an era of service to the people and our country, we take this opportunity to reaffirm the ANC's commitment to the values and the principles to which so many of our legends dedicated their lives," he said.
This was an occasion to unite, renew and rebuild the ANC, the oldest liberation movement on the African continent, said Ramaphosa.
The ANC leadership will be working to unite the party in action and desist from doing anything that would demise the movement, Ramaphosa pledged.
The ANC, Ramaphosa said, will renew its focus on rebuilding society and to rid the country of poverty.
"We shall redouble our efforts to build a society in which black poverty and white privilege are consigned to the past, replaced by solidarity," Ramaphosa said.
The ANC will take every step and measure to implement every resolution passed at the party's 54th conference in December last year, he said.