Bathabile Dlamini decided to call off event that Cyril Ramaphosa was set to address: ANC

It was ANC Woman's League president Bathabile Dlamini who made the call for the cancellation of a memorial lecture in memory of Lilian Ngoyi, which party president Cyril Ramaphosa was set to address.

So says the ANC in a statement issued on Thursday night. 

Party spokesperson Pule Mabe said that what led to Ramaphosa's walk-out from the Lebowakgomo civic centre, where the lecture was set to take place on Thursday, was the event being "oversubscribed".

"The leadership of the ANC Women's League, led by president Bathabile Dlamini, made the call for the event to be postponed and a new date will be conveyed when the president of the ANC will deliver the all-important lecture honouring the legacy of Lillian Ngoyi.

"The Lilian Ngoyi memorial lecture could not proceed due to the event being oversubscribed by members of our organisations and communities at large," said Mabe.

The lecture was meant to form part of the planned build-up of activities for the party's 110th January 8th anniversary.

Ramaphosa was hurried out of the civic centre on Thursday before he could address party members. The woman's league said Ramaphosa left because of non-compliance with Covid-19 regulations at the venue, which posed a threat to him.

Mabe said the party had learnt a valuable lesson from the incident.

"We drew the necessary lesson of the need to tighten access control into our events to avoid the possibility of them becoming super-spreaders," he said.

On behalf of the ANC, he thanked party members from the ANCWL - "ordinary women and members of society who in their numbers took their time to honour this important gathering".

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