Ruling African National Congress (ANC) party supporters attend the party's 106th birthday celebrations in East London, South Africa, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Newly elected ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is to address supporters for the first time since being elected last month. (AP Photo)

South Africa's new party leader targets 'billions' in graft

January 13, 2018 - 5:47 am

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The new leader of South Africa's ruling party vows to crack down on the corruption that has weakened the African National Congress in a new push to end inequities that haunt the nation more than 20 years after the end of white minority rule.

"Billions of rands have been illegally diverted to individuals," Cyril Ramaphosa said Saturday while celebrating the party's 106th anniversary.

Ramaphosa was elected to lead Africa's oldest liberation party in December, replacing scandal-prone President Jacob Zuma as party leader, and likely will be elected the next president in 2019.

Public frustration over corruption allegations against Zuma deeply split the ANC, and Ramaphosa has been pressured by opposition parties and some ANC members to recall Zuma as president.

Ramaphosa instead is emphasizing the need to unify the party.

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