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President Ramaphosa hails Muslims for their contribution to SA

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the Muslim community for its contribution to South Africa. Speaking at the annual Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) Iftaar in Rylands in Cape Town on Wednesday evening, Ramaphosa appealed to the Muslim community to work together and has undertaken to address some of the issues that affect Muslims of country, including laws on marriage, the protection of communities such as Bo-Kaap from gentrification and concerns of crime. More pertinently, the event promoted unity within the Muslim community.

Ramaphosa also used the opportunity to affirm the ANC’s determination to root out corruption in the state and warned that private sector corruption should be rooted out. He said that after the 54th Conference, the ANC is more than prepared, and more than resolved, to tackle corruption.

The breaking of the dawn to dusk fast event was attended by members of the Muslim community, inclusive of religious leaders, businessmen, and activists, as well as religious leaders from the Hindu and Christian faiths.

President Ramaphosa and MJC president Sh Irafaan Abrahams
Pres Ramaphosa being welcomed by the MJC leadership at a pre-iftaar meeting
Pres Ramaphosa and MJC dep president Ml AK Allie listen to the opening speeches

The president said he was privileged to be granted the opportunity to partake in the “most hallowed traditions, the ritual of breaking your fast – the Iftar – in the month of Ramadan.”

“My own life has intersected with so many Muslims who derived their commitment and courage directly from the holy and empowering teachings and rituals of Islam,” Ramaphosa stated.


Commenting on the president’s address, former premier of the Western Cape and former ambassador to the United States, Ebrahim Rasool described the event as historic.

“Tonight was historical, but it was also meaningful. I think it is beyond just an iftaar that the president of the country shares with the Muslim community. Here we had the diversity of the Muslim community; we had shi’a, sunni, people from the progressive, activists, the ulama, business people – the cream of who the Muslim community is was represented.”

Rasool said the president’s candid approach to the topic of sectarianism, accompanied by the unity observed by religious at the event, spoke to the need to improve inter and intra-religious engagement.

“More importantly, it was also a night of resolve, because here tonight we all stood up and said we will not allow sectarianism, preachers of hate and extremism to infiltrate our community.”

He added that Ramaphosa’s address highlighted the practical concerns of the Cape Muslim community.

“It was also a very practical night; i think the idea of Bo-Kaap becoming a legacy and a heritage site is absolutely crucial fr the people there. I think the idea of District Six being earnestly discussed and making sure that people return was crucial,” Rasool stated.

Meanwhile, former minister Ebrahim Ebrahim lauded the president for having acknowledged the Muslim community as integral to the fabric of the country.

“The president made a very good speech and he appealed to the community should work together. He also said that the Muslim community’s contribution to South Africa has been great.”

While the event was largely celebrated, not all Muslims welcomed the occasion, with many decrying the Ramaphosa’s visit as a campaign for the 2019 elections.


WATCH: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed attendees at the annual MJC iftaar banquet in Rylands, Cape Town on 30 May, 2018.

President Cyril Ramaphosa rendered a post Iftaar speech in Rylands on Wednesday.

Posted by Voice of the Cape Radio – VOC on Wednesday, 30 May 2018

VOC 91.3fm

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