SOUTH AFRICA’S TENURE IN UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO BE DEDICATED TO SILENCING THE GUNS BY 2020

On Friday, 8 June, member states of the UN General Assembly in New York gave South Africa an overwhelming mandate to take up the two year seat as a  non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2019-2020. South Africa is honoured and humbled by this expression of confidence in South Africa’s ability to make a contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.

This will be South Africa’s third term on the  Security Council, having previously served from 2007-2008 and 2011-2012.

South Africa will dedicate its two-year term on the Security Council to continue to build on the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the Continent, guided by the African Union’s aspirations of Agenda 2063, in particular ‘silencing the guns by 2020’. Only when we have peace and a culture of peace, can we have sustainable development in Africa. Our energies now have to be directed at the betterment of the lives of our people.

South Africa holds the view that emphasis should be placed on the preventative approach in addressing conflicts and its root causes and also to assist countries emerging from conflict from relapsing. In this context, South Africa will work towards promoting political processes and addressing the pivotal nexus between security and development.

Sustainable peace consolidation also requires the strengthening of political approaches, including through preventative diplomacy, conflict prevention and management, mediation and peace building. Under-resourcing of conflict prevention remains an obstacle. South Africa will continue to highlight the fact that commitment to sustaining peace and conflict prevention requires adequate and predictable resources in support of these priorities, which will invariably lead to less spending on costly peacekeeping, humanitarian responses and in protecting developmental gains. South Africa will also reiterate its call for the UN-assessed contributions to secure predictable, sustainable and flexible financing for AU-led peace support operations authorised by the Security Council.

We believe that peace cannot be achieved without the participation of women in peace negotiations, peacekeeping operations, post-conflict peace-building and governance. South Africa will thus ensure that the spirit of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security is reflected in the work of the Council.

During the first year of our tenure on the Security Council, South Africa will work closely with Equatorial Guinea and Cote’d Ivoire as part of the A-3. As the three non-permanent African Group members on the Council, we are expected to forge a united front, particularly on those issues concerning the African Continent.

South Africa will thus use its tenure on the Security Council to ensure that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres keeps the African Continent at the centre of his agenda in the UN. The Secretary-General has been hailed by African leaders for taking action in strengthening relations between the African Union and the United Nations. In April 2017, the Secretary-General and the African Union Commissioner signed the UN-AU Framework for enhancing partnership on peace and security to further build on the initiative that South Africa previously spearheaded during its previous tenures on the Security Council.

In this regard, South Africa will continue to enhance cooperation between the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Secuity Council, of which South Africa is currently a member.

As current chair of the Southern African Development ­­­Community (SADC), we remain ceased with regional cooperation, industrialization, as well as peace and security matters. We will use our two-year tenure in the Council to consolidate the gains we have achieved through the SADC Organ on Peace and Security and the AU Peace and Security architecture to help bring lasting peace and security in our region.

 We will continue to work with the SADC region to ensure the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Furthermore, we will ensure the facilitation and implementation by the Security Council of the decisions made by the SADC Peace and Security Council in the region. We commit to be transparent and will continue to consult and engage with the Continent to ensure the implementation of African solutions to African problems on the various African issues on the agenda of the Security Council.

As we assume the non-permanent seat, we look forward to collaborating with the members of the Security Council in promoting the maintenance of international peace and security and the social well-being and advancement of all the peoples of the world.

Comrade Lindiwe Sisulu is a member of the ANC NEC and Minister for International Relations and Co-operation

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT PETER MOKABA: YES TO JOBS IN HONOUR OF ’76 MARTYRS

Dear comrade President Peter Mokaba, 

It is almost 16 years since your heart ceased to beat; your indomitable voice stopped to roar. Your untimely departure from the land of the living to settle permanently in the land of the departed left a huge lacuna in youth activism and radical politics. 

As the new generation your political guidance and leadership authority inspired many of us to follow in your footsteps, as footsoldiers to pursue the struggle of young people in South Africa. Let me hasten to indicate that wherever you are in the nooks and crannies of the universe, you remain a source of wisdom, a fountain of political consciousness and a immortal symbol of radicalism. 

Comrade President, 

TOMORROW June 16, marks the 42nd of Soweto students uprisings that signaled a decisive shift in the struggle for a free and democratic South Africa. It was young radicals like Tsietsi Mashinini and host of other students activists that organized one of the biggest protest against imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in Black Township schools. The day’s protest was met with use of brutal force by Apartheid security agencies, and scores of students were shot with live ammunition. The protest was marred by killing of armless students, and Hector Peterson, became symbol of that fateful day through the iconic picture captured by late and departed lensman Sam Nzima. 

Comrade President, apology for boring you with this glossy brief historical context  since it has a connection to the present day persisting struggles faced by working class and poor youth post the ‘94 democratic breakthrough ushered through the shed of Chris Hani’s selfless blood, and other countless activists who paid the price for a just South Africa. Youth unemployment is a “powder keg” waiting to explode. Our country has the highest number of youth unemployment which poses a threat to our social fiber and efforts to build a “better life for all” as once envisioned by President Nelson Mandela. This makes our country a leading contender of an “Olympic Gold” medal for having a highest number of youth unemployment, followed by Greece 25,2% and Spain 22,2%. This figure makes the National Development Plan (NDP) goal of halving youth unemployment to 6% by year 2030 a mockery. 

Comrade President, 

Not long ago, after a successful transition, necessitated by electoral outcomes of ANC’s 54th National Conference, President Cyril Ramaphosa has prioritized the crisis of youth unemployment. In February 2018, he launched the Youth Employment Service (YES), a collaborative initiative with big business intended to mitigate youth unemployment crisis through job opportunities and skills transfer as dictated by our stubborn economy. 

The “New Dawn” as propagated by President Ramaphosa, should be at the centre of its agenda tackle this catastrophic crisis of youth unemployment and deliver decent jobs for the youth, including entrepreneurship participation and opportunities.  For this to happen, it requires a decisive shift or break from neo-liberal instruments or tools prescribed by neoliberal embedded World Bank; International Monetary Fund and Rating’s agencies, and adopt radical policies that deliver much needed jobs for our people, especially for the youth. 

Comrade President, 

Whilst bold initiatives by President Ramaphosa are welcomed to deal with unemployment crisis. One of the key proposal, also shared by Left axis in the Alliance, SACP-Cosatu, and supported by the ANC Youth League is for the SA Reserve Bank’s mandate to be redefined to play a more activist, interventionist and developmental role in an effort to fight poverty and struggles to create decent work, as opposed to the status quo of inflation targeting. It is within this context that Reserve Bank should be nationalized so that it plays a more critical role for the overall good of our country and her people, outside the mandate of private interests. 

The late Bra Hugh Masekela’s “Send Me” song which has hogged the imagination of society, across racial spectrum, and brought renewed hope or “new dawn” should not send our people into slumber nor deliberately be used to catch votes without any concrete delivery of people’s needs.  Unemployment is a serious catastrophe and a “ticking time bomb”, slowly imploding as evidenced by violent service delivery protests or looting of foreign national shops, mainly led by marginalized or excluded youth.

Comrade President, 

Already the  “official” unemployment rate remains at 32,4% amongst 15 – 34 working youth age group. This effectively means a large of young people in rural and urban areas are economically excluded and facing a prospect of a bleak future. The significant number of the unemployed depends for survival or living on grants recipients to make ends meet. 

The Jobs Summit becomes another key platform for social partners to meet and explore possible avenues to address the crisis of unemployment and creation of decent jobs for all. For too long Capital has been on a de-investment strike, as part of ill-fated strategy to influence ANC decisions or leadership preferences. The youth must be at the forefront of efforts to find concrete solutions to the crisis of youth unemployment, we should be at the picket line with the unemployed to demands jobs and opulent chambers influencing decisions with the elites. We need to give practical meaning to President Mandela’s assertion “be the scriptwriters of your destiny and feature yourselves as stars that showed the way towards a brighter future”.

Comrade President, 

Your organization, the ANCYL remains a powerful vehicle to champion a radical agenda to change the lives of young people for the better. Our unflinching commitment to this just cause cannot be sold to the highest capitalists bidders. We remain resolute to make sure that the ANC delivers on it historical mission to build a South Africa as was eloquently depicted by President Oliver Tambo during the inaugural conference of our sister organization MPLA of Angola in 1977, as follows: “We of the African National Congress visualise a South Africa in which the people shall govern, in which the wealth of the country shall be restored to the people and where the land shall be shared among those who work it. We aim to establish in our country a society free of the exploitation of man by man”. We dare not to fail the youth of South Africa. 

  Thandi Moraka is the ANCYL Deputy Secretary General 

FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT BY MUNICIPALITIES PERPETUATES SOCIO-ECONOMIC OPPRESSION ON WOMEN, YOUTH AND CHILDREN.

The South African government before 1994 had racially separated municipalities that perpetuated racial exclusion in terms of provision basic services to communities. This has resulted in the country facing huge backlogs in terms of basic infrastructure to enable delivery of water and sanitation, primary health care, sport and recreation facilities, libraries and many other services required by all communities for their sustainable livelihood.  It is worth noting that the country’s population is made up 51.3% of women and people of 0-34yrs constitute over 37 million of the population.    

The democratically elected government post-1994 has promulgated laws that have erased segregation laws. The post-1994 period ushered in a new era also with regard to issues of local government and provision of basic services.  Local government is one of the three spheres of government, and its functions include the development and implementation of local-specific policies aimed at the betterment of the lives of people in local communities. Section 152 (1) (b) (c) of chapter 7 of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (as amended) explicitly defines the objects of the local government as to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner and to promote social and economic development.

Municipalities are allocated financial resources to advance development however there has been high level of irregular expenditures in the municipalities across the country. Section of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 1999 defines irregular expenditure as ‘expenditure other than unauthorised expenditure, incurred in contravention of or that is not in accordance with a requirement of any applicable legislation, including – (a) this Act; or (b) the State Tender Board Act, 1968 (Act No. 86 of 1968), or any regulations made in terms of that Act; or (c) any provincial legislation providing for procurement procedures in that provincial government.

According to the audit results for 2016/17 financial year, the irregular expenditures in Municipalities are at R28.4-billion. Whilst there are those who argues that proper financial management does not ipso facto effective provision of quality services, Mr Terence Nombembe in Quality service delivery report- A valuable tool to track progress on service delivery said “Admittedly, not looking after the finances does leave less financial resources available for service delivery, but keeping tight financial controls does not by itself guarantee the channeling of funds to areas responsive to the service delivery needs of communities. Proper management of service delivery information takes the process a step further and can be utilised to provide regular assurance to all stakeholders including citizens that indeed the funds are utilised for the predetermined objectives.”

High level of inequalities, poverty and unemployment affects mostly women, youth and children. To alleviate poverty, the post-apartheid government introduced various social grants and about 17 million South Africans receive various forms of such social grants, which cost the government more than 150 billion rand annually.  Notwithstanding this noble act by government, the fact remains that more still needs to be done to create jobs. The unemployment rate among young people was 38, 2%, in the first quarter of 2018. Lack of proper financial management might have impact in the provision of services to the communities.  Proper financial management in local government will have positive impact on service delivery that mostly benefits women, youth and children.

The Auditor General indicated that amongst others, there is a lack of decisive leadership to address the lack of accountability by ensuring consequences against those who flouted financial processes in government. It is applauded that the National Assembly has just passed a Public Audit Amendment Bill, which empowers the Auditor General to act against those implicated in irregular and wasteful expenditure in government departments. Hopefully this will assist in holding those who are mismanaging the finances of the municipalities accountable and ensure that there is value for money in projects and programs that are aimed at improving the lives of the people.  Hopefully with the new law that empowers the Auditor General to act against those who are involved in financial mismanagement means there will implementation of consequence management. 

However a scholar-Joe Komane argues that government policies fails because of over-investment in the political symbolism of policy rather than its practical implementation. Such policy carries a broader political significance for the purpose of fulfilling political imperatives such as legitimation than achieving desired outcomes on the ground. Society must be vocal against those who have been mandated to manage and control the public purse and failing to do so. Section 152 (2) of chapter 7 of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (as amended) dictates that municipality must strive, within its financial and administrative capacity, to achieve the objects of local government.  

I argue that the majority of people who bears the brunt of poor financial management by municipalities are women, youth and children. The high level of inequalities, unemployment and poverty dehumanises women, youth and children more than any other person and provision of quality services by local municipalities can make positive impact in improving the lives of these marginalised groups.  Poor financial management by some municipalities must be characterised as a crime against women, youth and children.

By Sediko Rakolote (Writing in personal capacity)

SHOCK TROOPS OF OUR REVOLUTION

The month of June once again presents to us an opportunity to introspect and thus be able navigate the present day challenges as youth and students in particular. We continue to draw inspiration and strength from the brave and heroic 1976 generation, as we this year commemorate 42nd anniversary since the uprising in Soweto. A generation that fought tooth and nail against repressive, cruel and murderous apartheid regime, thus placing the young at the cutting edge of the struggle for freedom in our beloved country.

The then era was characterized by mass mobilization and resistance to the apartheid system, through various formations on the ground and mostly becoming part of the Self Defense Units (SDU’s) with SAYCO as the key role player infused by the lively slogan of “Freedom or Death – Victory is Certain.” Unity of purpose was seen in action, as they openly defied and stood firm against a heavily armed repressive regime. It was during this difficult period, that the youth of that era won themselves the name “Young Lions” from President Oliver Reginald Tambo.

The post 1994 democratic breakthrough brought with it various policy interventions; in an attempt to defeat abject poverty, inequality and substantially reduce the level of unemployment. With the cost of living rising daily; the need to lift our economy to a higher growth trajectory and push back the frontiers of poverty; cannot be downplayed given the multitude of our people (youth constituting the majority) whom are still outside the mainstream economy with little or no hope at all of salvage. A legacy of colonialism of a special type that entrenched itself for more than 300 years.

The 22nd Congress of the ANCYL noted and boldly resolved that “amid load of socio-economic strides which have significantly ushered a better life for many South Africans, scores of young people still remain outside the province of job market and the majority of them still lacks potable skills to effectively compete on the open labour market system, particularly blacks, young women, people with disabilities and rural youth. Thus, fundamental thrust going forward is to ensure that the Youth League as a revolutionary vanguard of youth strategic interests keep the flame burning in pursuit of total eradication of economic marginalization of the youth.” We thus should grapple with specific fundamental questions: Have we lived up to the name “Young Lions”? What are the achievements, setbacks and lessons that have characterized youth development since 1994?

In honor of the young lions; collectively with all relevant stakeholders; we ought to up the gear and vehemently fight against youth unemployment, Women and children abuse, the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS, Alcohol and substance abuse, poverty, illiteracy, lack of patriotism, academic and financial exclusions, unequal access to opportunities (especially financial, labour market and technological access) etc. in all facets of our society. Our ability to rise beyond petty squabbles and unite will go a long way in propelling the struggle forward. The future of South Africa lies in the youth of today.

The past few years was characterized by heightened mass actions across the country, surely building on the cumulative struggles waged since the early 90s in demand of ‘quality free education’ in higher education sector, and has rekindled the power of unity of purpose in our country. The 2018 academic year has historically witnessed the first roll-out of this revolutionary programme albeit its challenges. Moreover, the progressive youth alliance (PYA) has in the past years consistently called for the introduction of history as a compulsory subject in our basic education, with an understanding that this will go a long way in inculcating patriotism and active citizenry. The recent announcement by the Department of Basic Education thus heeds this clarion call.

In honor of the young lions, we must never despair but continue fighting for opportunities for self-employment, skills development, intensify the roll-out of agro-processing initiatives and support of rural-agriculture, fast-track the development of SMME and cooperatives, return the land to our people, review the curriculum, develop of a state owned bank etc. In so doing we will be roaring young lions of our generation, with vigor to anchor towards economic freedom in our life time.

We do know that the initial intention of the NYDA was that it would be accessible and thus operate in every municipality in the country. As youth, we are once again tasked with a responsibility to thoroughly assess if this Agency is still serving the youth as per its original mandate. This machinery cannot be subjected to the gallows, as such there is a need to revisit this structure and ensure that it is responsive to the needs of the youth without any ambiguity.

In their honor, we ought to cement the youth voice in the public discourse and be actively involved in our own communities; thus debunk the spectator role. To further position ourselves as “Agents of Change” and integrate youth development as central to the developmental agenda.

Hasta la victoria siempre!

Tokologo TK Mphahlele
Former SASCO Limpopo Chairperson
Former UL SRC Deputy President External
ANCYL Waterberg RTT Member

[Writes in his personal capacity]

IN THE CURRENT LAND DEBATE, THE CENTRE MUST HOLD!

The current land debate is regarded by many as progress while on the other hand others, including me, believe it’s just a flat tyre. More worrying is its success in drawing, from the ashes, populist rhetoric and theatrics that only confuse the masses rather than provide clarity.

The land question has remained an unresolved issue since the democratic breakthrough of 1994 and as such has been used as a rallying point for a variety of populist and legitimate reasons. The extent to which indigenous people were robbed of their land by the illegitimate state in South Africa under colonial rule and apartheid has no parallels on the African continent.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994, issues at the heart of the land question in South Africa are how to reverse this phenomenon and how a large-scale redistribution of land can contribute to the transformation of the economy and the reduction of poverty, both rural and urban.

In February parliament debated the issue resulting in what is regarded as a progressive motion on land expropriation without compensation. In my view, at this stage land expropriation without compensation “remains a revolutionary sounding slogan.”

Today, there are about 2million black subsistence farmers growing crops and raising livestock primarily for their own use. Additionally, there are about 200,000 black small farmers selling their produce to the agricultural market. In total these 2.2million black farmers are responsible for only five per cent of all economic output in the agricultural sector. 

Compared to this, there are only about 35 000 commercial farmers owning the most fertile land. They are responsible for the remaining 95 per cent of agricultural production. Of these, just 1,300 farms receive more than 50 per cent of total agricultural income. These are the big capitalist farmers using the latest technology and farming methods to produce for the world market.

The current debate lacks details on what is the programme once land is expropriated. But most dangerously it has all the trappings of left-wing populism. During, and soon after, the parasitic state capture era we have seen an indifference to all forms of formal political efforts starting to form. There are very worrying trends including land invasions led by young people in many townships invariantly saying they doubt government to deliver for their land hunger.

What they shy to tell the masses is that today more than two-thirds of the population now lives in big, modern cities. Also, agriculture is not a major contributor – only 2.2 per cent – to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Tony Blair, former United Kingdom Prime Minister warned; “even where populism does not win, it influences and distorts debate”. Populism identifies an enemy as the answer to what are essentially the problems of fast-tracked change.

The proponents of expropriation without compensation tend to correctly invoke the past stating that our forefathers used to plough the land and feed their families. The danger with this narrative is that it is based on the negative which suggests that the only story of Africans is struggle and oppression. Inadvertently; it plays on the coloniser’s narrative that Africans have never and can’t manage land for their own good.

This is a revolution that is mainly economic, but also historical. Those who got used to thinking for Africans, or to guiding the thinking of Africans, also feel aggrieved by the masses of Africans rising to be thinkers and spokespersons of their own thoughts, by Africans rising to be leaders of thought. Major capitalist powers are driven by the urge to protect capitalist civilization.

A contributor to Forbes Magazine, Lorenzo Montanari, recently (March 2018) opined; “Property rights are in danger in South Africa. A mix of revenge and socialist ideology are behind the expropriation without compensation policy amendments that changed the South Africa Constitution”. 

The people’s struggle against apartheid galvanized the masses to the left because they felt that the colonialists didn’t satisfy their aspirations for national freedom and economic emancipation. That was a national question, of course; but it was primarily an economic one. 

Today’s land struggle is no different. The modus operandi of populists is not to reason but to roar. They have at times an anarchic feel. Yet it has also mobilized a powerful media behind it. Its supporters welcome the outrage their leaders provoke. This polarizes public discourse and enhances their sense of belonging, so that even when they’re in government, they act as if they were excluded from it.

We also need to state that the current land question or debate isn’t about “revenge” or narrow nationalism. We must assert that our commitment to land reform is fundamentally to affirm the people’s identity and because land is a symbol of citizenship. 

The center must hold! The immediate take is to galvanize the voiceless center ground so that it can recover the traction it has lost in recent years to a populist politics upsurge. The political center has lost its power to persuade and its essential means of connection to the people it represents. The left needs to recover its radicalism as we are seeing a convergence of the extreme left and far right.

Primarily, the debate needs a radical shift and be taken further by all progressive forces to give it completeness by succinctly detailing a programmatic approach to meaningful land expropriation (with or without compensation).Progressives must reach across the political divide, making a virtue of nonpartisanship. Those who feel dispossessed within existing party structures should make common cause, and do so unashamedly.

The politics of the progressive center has not died, but it needs reinventing and re-energizing. We must build a new coalition that is popular, not populist. The center needs to develop an agenda that shows people they will get support to help them through the change that’s happening around them. This political agenda should not (myopically) be about settling the homeless or building malls, but one that ensures full participation of the disposed masses in the productive sectors of the economy. 

Land poverty is neither trivial nor inevitable. It is a challenge that involves everyone, men and women at all levels, from households right up to decision-makers, for the survival of communities and countries.

The new agenda has to focus on opportunities for radical change in the way that agriculture and services like healthcare serve people. This must include how we educate, skill and equip our people for the future; how we reform tax and welfare systems to encourage more fair distribution of wealth; and how we replenish our infrastructures and invest in the communities most harmed by trade and technology.

In other words, unresolved issues like the land question should be closely linked to the class struggle and, importantly, the fight for total economic transformation. Thuma Mina!

Chris Maxon
Camperdown
KwaZulu Natal

BRIEFS FROM CHINA – LEARNING FROM THE BEST FOR THE FUTURE

NOTES FROM THE ANC SG CDE ACE MAGASHULE

From the 1st to the 8th of June 2018 I led a delegation of the ANC National Executive Committee to China fostering party to party relations with the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and reaffirming ties between the people of the two nation states.

It is my pleasure to present to our membership, our friends and comrades ‘BRIEFS FROM CHINA – LEARNING FROM THE BEST FOR THE FUTURE’, as part of our ANC Today Information platform capturing the essence of the historic visit to the people’s Republic of China.
I must also express my comradely words of gratitudes on behalf of the delegation of the ANC towards the leadership of the CPC led by Cde President Xi Jinping for their hospitality.

Both our parties have appreciated the importance of political education and the whole endeavor contribute towards party building and renewal, and therefore agreed to work together concretely to achieve some of the strategic objectives. We have agreed to share the lessons and experiences which will help to grow the capacity of our political organizations.

The Leadership of the CPC has agreed to accommodate 300 ANC cadres into their leadership training academy over a five year period. The exchange programme also includes holding political education sessions with some of their commissars inside our country.

We are inspired by the principles of upholding Party building and discipline by the CPC constructed and upheld as follows:

  • Political Discipline
  • Organisational Discipline
  • Work and Daily Life Discipline
  • Mass Discipline
  • Integrity Discipline.

These principles are a great inspiration to the Chinese nation and continue to influence moral and acceptable conduct within the ranks of the CPC.

The delegation will be giving a detailed report to the ANC NEC which will be widely circulated to all our structures once processed.

I hope these Briefs from China contribute constructively towards the continued efforts to renew and unite our movement.

2. STRENGTHENING HISTORIC TIES BETWEEN THE CPC AND THE ANC

“We are grateful of the contribution by the great Chinese nation to the struggles of the people of our country against imperialism and colonial supremacy of the racist Apartheid regime. Ours is a longstanding friendship of historic bonds of solidarity and internationalism between our two nation states.

“The ancient philosophers have words of wisdom which say whatever you give, you must forget and whatever you receive, you must always remember. We thank you for your unflinching support during the difficult years of our struggles for the national liberation of our people.

“We thank you for the indestructible bonds of friendship, anchored on the firm principles of comradeship, loyalty, mutual trust, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We shall forever cherish your contribution to the development great contours of human civilization.

Our visit to the humane and the peaceful nation of the people’s republic of China, reaffirms this great common hood of friendship, which is unparalleled to the mother of all nations. Working shoulder by shoulder with the great Chinese nation, we are assured by the best of our friends we can trust most”. ANC SG Ace Magashule expressing humbling words of gratitude during the 9th ANC NEC visit to the people’s Republic of China.
The high ranking delegation was on a mission to foster the frontiers of the great historical ties between the two revolutionary movements.

3. 9th ANC NEC DELEGATION

The 9th ANC NEC delegation compromised of the following comrades:

  • Tony Yengeni (NWC Member and Chair Peace and Stability Subcommittee)
  • Meokgo Matuba (ANCWL SG)
  • Nomvula Mokonyane (NWC Member and Chair NDCA)
  • Senzo Mchunu (NWC Member and Chair Organizational Building& Campaigns)
  • Pule Mabe (National Spokesperson)
  • Dakota Legoete (NWC Member)
  • Ronald Lamola (NWC Member)
  • Boitumelo Moloi (NWC Member)
  • Thomas Bongo (NEC Member)
  • Sibongile Besani, (NEC Member)
  • Tandi Mahambehlala (NEC member)
  • David Mahlobo (NEC member) and
  • Malambule Samuel Mashinini, the chairperson of the ANC Free State Province,
  • Faiez Jacobs, the Secretary of the ANC western cape province,
  • Anna Mogale, member of the Gauteng provincial executive committee,

ANC SG COMMENDS THE CPC LEADERSHIP ON SOLIDARITY AND INTERNATIONALISM AS LED BY PRESIDENT XI JINPING

“It is said you can see a world in a grain of sand and an ocean in a drop of water. Beijing’s evolution from a tiny town to an international metropolis is just one example of how mankind progresses as people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds interact in a common home and embrace a common future”. ANC SG Ace Magashule echoing the profound statement by President of the people’s Republic of China, Cde Xi Jinping, during the International conference to open the Maritime Silk Road in 2017,

Over two thousands years ago, the great Chinese nation, trekking across vast steppes and deserts, opened the transcontinental passage connecting Asia, Europe and Africa, known today as the Silk Road. Navigating through rough seas, creating sea routes linking the East and the West, namely, the Maritime Silk Road.

This ancient silk routes opened windows of friendly engagement amongst nations, adding a splendid chapter to the history of human progress”.

The long path of the ancestors of our common struggles, has transformed us into being, the true Ambassadors of the same endeavor, for the peace and prosperity of human civilization. The golden shape, of the present world of modernity, derives its very existence, from the same beautiful routes of our ancestry, to continue with our innovative creativity for human progress.

Therefore the profound words by the leader of the people’s republic of China, is a testimony, that the present generation of mankind, continues to distinguish itself, as the pioneers of the ideal future world we cherish. This is a historic mission, whose its contribution, is to change the material conditions of the world, for the survival of humanity.

TIAN’ANMEN SQAURE AND THE SUMMER PALACE

The beautiful heritage site of the Tian’anmen Sguare and the Summer palace, has become a pilgrimage of the boiling point of the history of our past and the present. The history of how the past endeavors of human creativity, has influenced what this great symbol of the ancient Chinese archipelago represents today.

This historic site, which represents how society transcended itself from the stage of the development of feudalism into the present world of improved productive relations, is the artifact of how mankind continues to make great strides through her material evolution. The Chinese revolution is a syllabus of one of the greatest political schools in the history of the struggles of humanity.

Our inspiration is the leadership role of the founding father of the republic of China,Dr Sun Yat-Sen and his vision to be part of the bulwark of men and women, who strove to make the world a better place for humanity. His contribution to the struggle of the Chinese people against feudalism, is what has built the two historic sites into the world pilgrimage.

The vanguard party under the leadership role of our revolutionary father Chairman Mao Tse Tung, is the cradle of the long glorious path of our struggles, which has become an indelible mark of the modern China. This has become the cornerstone of the new endeavors of human society to find its everlasting wishes and aspirations.

Our visit to the historic site of the founding of the vanguard Communist Party of China, has made us understand better the necessity for the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The most advanced party which has ratcheted the development of the productive relations of the Chinese society to unprecedented levels.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF POLITICAL EDUCATION IN THE LIFE OF A PARTY

Our visit to the Shichahahai community centre in one of the neighborhoods of the city of Beijing taught us about political education, as an important arsenal to defend our struggles for the freedom and dignity of our people. Political education is a key to the success of any revolutionary process for reconstruction and development.

In his own words, the revolutionary leader of the working class, Vladimir Lenin, says the following about the importance of theory in the struggles of our people”

Revolutionary scientific theory is a weapon to make us judge and define the methods of our struggles correctly. It is a weapon that helps us analyse and understand correctly the coarse of the development of human society at every moment, and to analyse and understand correctly every turning point of society and to carry out the revolutionary transformation of society”

The Chinese revolution is built on a firm foundation of the scientific revolutionary theory of marxism Leninism. A theory which has become a tool of analysis for their understanding of the world.

Therefore political education is undoubtedly a key factor which plays an important role in the development of the consciousness of the people. All members of the party from the top to the bottom are compelled by the law to attend political school every year.

All cadres of the Communist Party, in all sectors of our social life, including those of service within the state institutions, are required by the constitution of the party, to attend this political school classes every year. The approach is informed by the strategic thinking of the leadership of the party, that to be a revolutionary, is not necessarily, a permanent feature.

Therefore it is imperative to evaluate and asses cadres from time to time, so that they continue to stand true and conform to the values of the discipline and character of our party. Political education for the development of its cadre is the most effective foundation of any revolutionary movement.

The shared values of its traditions are rooted in the high level discipline and revolutionary character of its cadership. Political education has become the symbol of hope for the future progress of the world of humanity.

The high levels of the respect of the neighborhood, the public institutions, discipline, level of ideological and theoretical clarity, respect of time, national flag and the anthem. These are the virtues of hope to define the revolutionary character of a cadre of a revolutionary movement.

The Communist Party of China has invested much in the construction of infrastructure and its human resource for this important strategic objective. There are world class institutions of leadership academy and the most advance human resource base.

This has contributed immensely for the building of capacity and ensuring that the Chinese nation, under the vanguard leadership of the Communist Party, responds to the ever challenging world realities. This has seen the party rising to the occasion, of building the people’s republic of China, which has become the world most powerful second economy.

Our two parties and the people have more to share about their own peculiar lessons and experiences in our long journey, to build a better world. We have more to share with our Comrades with regard to critical programmes of building the organisation.

We have more to learn from our friends on critical areas such as ideological and theoretical work, Party building and discipline, economic issues and matters of fostering friendly relations amongst the world nation states and therefore achieving the goals of realizing a peace and prosperous world.

The leadership of the ANC and its general membership across the country, will have the opportunity to access this episodes of knowledge and experiences, after the delegation has presented its report to the leadership of the national Executive Committee. We have no option, but to work collectively, for the unity and renewal of our movement, for the realization of the noble programme, for radical socio economic transformation.

SHANGHAI THE EPITOME OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION

The beautiful architectural design of the longest bridge of the Olympics of the world architects, demonstrates how ideas of the common mind of our ancestry, have made Shanghai, a common destination, of the wisdom of the world. The creative mind of humanity, has today make Shanghai one of the best Metropoli of human civilization.

Architects from all the corners of the world, have unleashed their creative innovative minds, to pass humanity into its next highest level of development. This is the path we have chosen ourselves to follow the footprints of our common ancestry to make the world a better place for all.

Our future is the future of the great strides of humanity. Through acts of solidarity and internationalism we shall achieve.

VIEW GALLERY

THE REVOLUTIONARY TRADITION OF UNITY AND RENEWAL OF OUR NATIONAL LIBERATION MOVEMENT IS NOT ABOUT FORSAKING PRINCIPLES. 

 

The immediate task of the elected leadership of the National Executive Committee of the ANC is to ensure that there is unity and renewal within the ranks of our national liberation movement. This important political task constitutes the cornerstone of the present phase of our struggles for socio economic transformation. 

 

The success of this important strategic objective rests on the determination and political will by the leadership and membership of our movement across all levels of our society. The principal task is the fulfillment of the noble objective of our revolution which is the building of a non racial, non sexist, democratic and prosperous society.

 

The historic plenary session of the 54th elective national conference of the ANC which took place at the NAZREC conference centre, brought this important political question to the centre stage. As a result we need a robust and deeper understanding of its significance to the leadership role of our movement in the current historical period of our National Democratic Revolution (NDR).

 

It is the responsibility of all tried and tested men and women of our movement to rise to the occasion and strive for the achievement of this common purpose. We all need to be more vigilant and work for the consolidation of the unity and renewal of our Movement. 

 

Over the past few weeks, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC embarked on a political pilgrimage of interacting with all the structures of our movement across the provinces and regions of our country. The focus of the political pilgrimage was to create a platform for the assessment and evaluation of the strength and the weaknesses of our structures.

 

This task was necessary from the point of view that we have to give complete appraisal of the readiness of our structures for the coming regional and provincial conferences. The task was also of necessary importance for the obvious fact that we have to oil the wheels of our machinery into motion for the coming national and provincial general elections.

 

The outcome of the strategic visits to our regions and provinces convinced me, more than ever before, that together we can do more to foster for the unity and cohesion of our revolution. I became convinced that together we can ensure the victory of our struggles for the attainment of a better life for all.

 

A revolution which cannot demonstrate its commitment to its own principles and traditions is doomed to fail. We need therefore to appreciate that our revolution was never built on the precarious foundations of expediency and forsaking principles. 

 

Frederick Engels said the following about the opportunism of forsaking principles, one must not allow oneself to be misled by the cry of unity. Those who have this word often on their lips are the ones who sow the most dissent. The biggest sectarians and the biggest brawlers and rogues at the times shout the loudest for unity. 

 

The traditions of unity bought by forsaking principles and by wallowing in the mire with opportunists ceases to be proletarian unity. History of shared principles and traditions is a necessary condition for the success of any revolution. 

 

Over the years of the history of our struggles for liberation, the question of the unity and cohesion has been the powerhouse of the theory of our revolutionary movement. Our conceptualization of unity is not amorphous but an important theoretical question based on concrete principles of the struggles of our people. 

 

Therefore the basic cause of unity of purpose is the achievement of the strategic objectives for the construction of a better society. Unity is about serving in the best interests and the wishes and aspirations of our people. 

 

The fundamental principle of unity and cohesion is about learning how to serve the best interests of humanity. Unity was never about self serving tendencies of self aggrandizement. 

 

The unity of our revolution must reflect the objective realities of our concrete conditions and not our wishful thinking. The goal of our revolution is about advancing what is in the best interests of the people. 

 

It is our desired hope, as the National Executive Committee (NEC), that the unity and renewal of our movement, gathers the necessary momentum, to prepare our movement for the tasks ahead. We need to prepare our structures to withstand the complexities of the current period of our transition for the development of human society. 

 

The internal processes of the application of unity and cohesion are guided by the principles of criticism and self criticism. This is the task about the posture and character of our movement we should inculcate within the ranks of especially  our young generations. 

 

One of the finest philosophers of our modern times and the leader of the former Soviet Socialist Republics, Vladimir Lenin, says the following about the political significance of the principle of criticism and self criticism. 

 

“The attitude of a political party towards its own mistakes, is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how correct the party is and how in practice it fulfills its obligations towards its people. 

 

Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reason for it, analysing the conditions that led to it, and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it, that is the earmark of a serious party, that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate its people. 

 

All revolutionary parties, which have hitherto perished, did so because they grew conceited, failed to see their strength and feared to speak about their weaknesses. But we shall not perish, for we do not fear to speak of our weaknesses and learn to overcome them. 

 

Taking wisdom from the teachings of this great philosopher of the present times of humanity, as a movement and the people, we are duty bound to embark on this long journey of hope, of ensuring that there is unity and cohesion, within the ranks of our revolutionary movement, for the sake of the victories of our struggles, for radical socio economic transformation.  Our revolutionary movement, the ANC, is a movement of principles, collectivism, humility and discipline. 

It is important therefore, as part of fulfilling this momentous task of unity and renewal of our movement, that we look at our own mistakes, of judging how correct our movement is, and how in practice it fulfills its obligations towards our people. As revolutionaries, we need to at all times to rise to the occasion, and admit our mistakes and strive towards correcting them. 

 

This is the only way to preserve this monument of the struggles of our people, which has become the oldest liberation movement on our continent and probably the whole world. In our hands, we do not have anything, no land, no ownership of our mines and factories, but our movement the ANC, which is the only precious gift and effective instrument of transformation, is the bulwork from the forebears of our struggles. 

 

It is in this context, that we appreciate the immense challenges posed by the realities of our historical period, of the second phase of our transition for radical socio-economic transformation. We need a much more deeper reflection to diagnose the challenges facing us. 

 

As the Movement and the people, we need a much more conducive climate for a more robust and deeper analysis of our own strength and weaknesses. We need an impetus of a more rigorous moment of self-introspection and capacity to appreciate our own shortcomings. 

 

Some of the challenges are so devastating that if not attended to, have the propensity to reverse back the gains of our struggles for transformation. The time is now that we must combat them head on in order to defend the gains of our hard won freedom and democracy. 

 

We need to combat the growing phenomenon of tendencies of triumphalism, I’ll discipline, factionalism and opportunism tearing our Movement apart. Our Movement has to confront the growing culture of arrogance, corruption, 

Individualism, self preservation and craft materialism. 

 

Our leadership and membership have the responsibility to conform to our decision making processes. We have to adhere ourselves to the culture and traditions of democratic centralism and inner party democracy. 

 

The provisions of our constitution state that every member in good standing, have the democratic right to stand for or to have his or her own preferred candidate, for any position of responsibility, within the ranks of our movement. This is a practice consistent with the culture and traditions of our movement.

 

The tradition of our movement is that even if we all have the democratic right to shape debates and policy positions of our movement, at the end, the views of the majority prevail over the other.

 

It is therefore within the provision of our constitution, that every one of our members in good standing, have the democratic right, to stand for or to have his or her own preferred candidate, for any position of responsibility within of our movement. This is a practice consistent with the revolutionary culture and traditions of our movement. 

 

We need to derive a deeper understanding of the meaning of our theoretical concept of unity and renewal. We have to give a clearer perspective of its true meaning to our movement and our people in general. 

 

Many of our people belief that unity and renewal is about changing the leadership of those who could not have their majority views during elective conferences. The tendency is to remove those who could not win during the conference from their positions in government or even to disband structures of those perceived to be not towing the line of their factions. 

 

It is heartening to witness how some of our members go to an extent of even asking for apologies to those they did not vote for during conferences. This is a dangerous culture against the democratic practices within the structures of our movement. 

 

The ANC says we must make those who are from within happy, before we can attract others. Making those from within happy is about teaching them the true culture and traditions of our movement.

 

Making those who are from within happy before you can attract others, is about teaching them about our revolutionary theory, the tools of analysis which have over the years of our struggles, distinguished our movement, from the rest. The ANC is a movement of revolutionary theory and practice. 

 

During the 54th Conference of the ANC which took place at the NASREC conference centre, our branches unanimously agreed on the policies and the collective leadership to steer our movement in the next five years. We have to respect the decision of our branches, which are essentially, the basic units of our movement. 

 

The political responsibility of the elected leadership is to ensure that the resolutions of our National Conference are implemented as mandated by the general membership of the ANC across the breath and the length of our country. No one has the powers to undermine the decisions taken our National Conference. 

The speedy implementation of the resolutions of the 54th national conference is what will unite the ANC and the motive forces of our revolution. It is against the traditions of our movement for any of the member of our movement, to ridicule and undermine the decisions of conference.

We have to be firm and decisive in ensuring that deployed cadres faces consequences for not implementing decisions of conference. All leaders of the ANC must be loyal to the decisions of our conferences without any measure of doubt. 

 

In conclusion leadership is there to serve the interest of the entire membership of the ANC and the people of our country, especially the poor and the working class, and not the interest of any of the warring factions. The leadership will unite the people as long as we meticulously follow and recognize elected structures of our movement. 

Our unity is about the top structures respecting the views of the lower structures and the lower structures respecting the views of the upper structures. With these principled organizational approach the future of the  ANC will be brighter. 

Our message to all our cadres is, do not marginalize, do not purge, do not be wedge drivers, do not be personal and angry, do not be arrogant and lead with humility and love. 

Our unity is also about the unity of our revolutionary alliance. This is the time for the alliance to unite in action. It is time that the alliance partners support each other for the victory of the struggles of our people. 

We need to support genuine struggles of the South African working class. We need to support genuine demands by the workers of the country that May Day and the day for our national elections must be non trading day. 

This is a mammoth task we have to fulfill and ensure that we carry into the able hands of the future generations to come. We dare not fail them. 

Comrade Ace Magashule is the Secretary General of the African National Congress.

THE GREAT BATTLE OF CUITO CUANAVALE REMAINS AN INFLAMMABLE TORCH TO ILLUMINATE MANY GENERATIONS TO COME

On the occasion of this magnificent historic day, of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the epoch making battle of Cuito Cuanavale, and the celebrations of the remarkable leadership role of the two outstanding titans of our revolution,  Cde Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the father of the South African nation, and Cde Fidel Castro, the commander in chief of the Cuban revolution, we convey our revolutionary greetings. 

On behalf of the leadership of the National Executive Committee of the ANC and the people of our country, we express our sincere words of gratitude and appreciation to this memorable great historic day.

This most auspicious day, represents the hallmark of the catalogue of the rich history of struggles of our people against the oppressive and exploitative systems of imperialism and colonialism. The day occasions great bonds of friendship and brotherhood built over centuries of incalculable acts of solidarity and internationalism. 

This solemn occasion is a living testimony that ours is a rich history of struggles of brothers and sisters from the other womb of the mother. Even if our horizons are far apart in the imaginations of our geographic maps, the scientific truth is we are too close to each other, by the biology of the genes of blood streams flowing through our veins and vessels.

 

Our indestructible bonds of friendship flow from the fountain of the wisdom and teachings of one of the greatest apostles of human civilization, Apostle José Martí, when he says “our homeland is humanity” and indeed in the words of the Commander in Chief when he says “our country is not just Cuba, our country is humanity”. The great battle of Cuito Cuanavale remains an inflammable torch to illuminate many of the generations to come.

We dedicate this day to the heroic memories of Jose Antonio Aponte, the first African free slave to lead an insurrection against Spanish colonialism in Cuba. We decorate the beautiful memories of this day, by remembering the heroic exemplary leadership role of this great descendent of the Angolan people. 

With unprecedented cruelty, this great son of the soil of the African continent, was executed by the Spanish military tribunal on the 09th of April during the 1812 in the city of Havana. We cherish the glorious and heroic path by this indomitable warrior of our people, his were extraordinary acts of courage humanity shall forever seek to emulate.

We dedicate this day to the living memories of one of the most illustrious heroine of the struggles for the emancipation of slave people, Cde Carlota. She illustrated the centrality of the leadership role of women in the struggles against capitalism and all its manifestations of patriarchy, by becoming the first slave woman to lead a rebellion against Spanish slave masters in Cuba. 

The body of this beautiful flower of the descendants of the Angolan people was torn into pieces by horses which were chained to move into different directions. We shall always salute the humane gesture by the Cuban revolution, to have named the first major military operations on the African continent, after this martyr of our revolution, to be operation Carlota. 

We dedicate this day to the living memories of our most revered revolutionary leader of our national liberation movement, President Reginald Oliver Tambo. 

Our inspiration on solidarity and internationalism is derived from the leadership role of this erstwhile revolutionary and the longest serving President of our movement. 

These are his profound revolutionary words he expressed during the first congress of MPLA at Luanda in 1977” 

In the very first hours of its existence, people`s republic of Angola had to defend itself against the massive military onslaught of a mature but decaying imperialist system. The trials that confronted the MPLA even before November 11, 1975, right through to 1976 when the racist oppressor army of the Vorster regime was evicted from Angola, were not a test solely of the valour and military preparedness of MPLA and the people of Angola.

The results of that contest have now become a matter of proud historical record. Progress triumphed over reaction, thanks to the heroic sacrifices of the people of Angola, supported by their progressive African allies, by Cuba, the Soviet Union and other socialist countries and by all peoples advancing towards progress. 

What started as a triumphant march by the forces of reaction into the heart of Angola ended up with a deeper crisis for the Vorster regime inside South Africa itself. 

The humiliating defeat of Vorster`s army was at the same time defeat for the social system for which that army had been created, trained and armed to defend. 

The myth of the invincibility of the racist army was destroyed for ever. For the fascist regime of John Vorster, whose ultimate and principal means of survival is naked brute force, this was a stunning blow”. 

We dedicate this day to the living memories of our two renowned revolutionaries of our century, our struggle icons President Nelson Mandela and the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. The two leaders of our revolution taught the world that human generosity is the most fulfilling highest form solidarity. 

The Commander in Chief of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro has to say the following profound revolutionary words about the battle of Cuito Cuanavale” the decisive battles should not be waged on the terrain chosen by the enemy, the decisive battles must be waged on the terrain chosen by one own forces, and the enemy must be hit in sensitive, truly strategic places”. 

In his own words, President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, during his first visit to the republic of Cuba, just after his release from jail, had to say the following profound words, at a rally organised in the province of Matanzas, where the South African Communist Party, held its last congress in the underground” the history of Africa will be written as before and after Cuito Cuanavale. The battle of Cuito Cuanavale was the turning point in the struggles for the liberation of the continent and our people from the lash of Apartheid”.

The fraternal relations between the people of Cuba and the African continent, is an unimaginable journey emanating from the early times of the emergence of modern capitalism. The roots of our historical relations are found in the horrific history of the scramble of the superpowers for the expansion of new markets and accumulation of raw material. 

The scramble for territorial conquest throughout the world was accompanied by the most cruel forms atrocities and human rights violations. Millions of the people of our continent and many parts of the world were forced to relinquish their being to be commodities of the slave trade. 

Many of the sons and daughters of the African continent were forced by the circumstances to severe ties of bondage with their families, relatives and fellow country men and found themselves enslaved to do force labour by colonial masters. Many died of hunger, disease and slanderous hands of their masters.

Through their sufferings and deprivations in the hands of their slave masters, the African slaves demonstrated their heroism against adversity. They followed the words of the father of the independence of the Latin America, Simon Bolivar when he says” we are children of storm, men and women of difficulties, even if we face adversity, we must and fight, until it obeys us”. 

Their determination and courage to take forward their struggles for freedom and equality ultimately defeated the mighty sword in the hands of imperialism. Their bonds of solidarity led to the achievements of the victories of their struggles for independence. 

In countries like Brazil, Jamaica, and many islands of the Caribbean and Latin America, slaves people of the African descend escaped from the captivity of their slave masters and built independent maroons republics in the mountains. The determination for the achievement of their struggles for freedom and dignity, saw the declaration of the independence of the first slave republic of Haiti in 1804.

It is during this day that we salute the memories of these heroic son and daughters of our motherland. Their struggles represent great moments in the history of the development of human society.

In the entire history of human civilization, the Cuban revolution, became the only exemplary, to extent its gesture of solidarity, by paying back the debt of the pain and slander by the African people in the hands of the slave masters. The Cuban revolution proved to the whole world that hers is a revolution with a human face. 

The everlasting gesture was when thousands of Cuban men and women volunteered to fight side by side with many of the African people in their struggles against the  imperialism and colonial domination. The most important period of the episode of our struggles which saw the greatest feats of human solidarity and internationalism. 

Just after the triumph of the Cuban revolution, immediately after the historic battle of Playa Giron, one of the biggest battles which heralded the first military defeat of the USA in the American hemisphere, the first epic event of solidarity took its shape between the revolutionary people of Cuba and the African continent. The Commander in Chief of the Cuban revolution, designated the first warship, which took the first longest journey to the shores of the African continent. 

The warship, the Bay of Nipel, carried the first moral gesture to pay the debt to the African people, in a form of weapons, which the revolution seized from the American mercenaries during the battle of Playa Giron, to assist the newly born republic of Algeria, against invasion by the Moroccan monarchy. The warship went back home carrying precious cargo of wounded combatants of Algerian freedom fighters and war orphans, to be the first students and patients to receive the warmth of the good gesture of solidarity and internationalism, by the revolutionary government of the republic of Cuba. 

Few years later, two contingents of Cuban revolutionary fighters arrived into the African continent. The first one was led by the Cuban internationalist Che Guevara and the second one by one of the commanders of the Cuban revolution, Jose Risquite. 

The contingent of revolutionary fighters led by Che went into the Congo Kinshasa, where they joined the Lumumba liberation forces led by Laurel Kabila against the dictatorship of Mobuto sese seko and the other one into Congo Brazzaville, where they join forces to defend the revolutionary government of Massemba Debat. 

After the sudden collapse of the Portuguese empire in the 1974, which led to the independence of most of her colonies in the world, including Angola and Mozambique, the South African racist regime together with the puppet government of Zaire ( Congo DRC) under Mabuto and the USA, hatched a conspiracy plan to thwart the ascension of the MPLA to political power during the day of independence. The Cuban government sent thousands of soldiers to defend the revolutionary government led by António Agostinho Neto. 

It was indeed the decisive Battle of Quito Cuanavale in 1988 where the racist troops of the minority white apartheid regime of South Africa were finally and thoroughly defeated by the combined forces of the Cuban Internationalist Forces, the Angolan FAPLA, the Combatants of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), SWAPO’s military wing and the ANC military wing Umkhonto we Ziswe(MK). 

Forty thousands Cuban combatants, Nine hundred and ninety eight tanks, six hundred armoured transport vehicles, one thousand and six hundred artillery pieces, mortars and anti aircraft defense deployed by the Cuban revolutionary government at the battle side of Cuito Cuanavale, was the most heroic bastion that collapsed the most destructive and cruel, repressive and racist Apartheid regime on our mother continent.

As a result, the racist troops of the minority white apartheid regime suffered heavy military defeat and a blow to the regime itself. The entire world watched in shock how the racist forces retreated in desperation and humiliation. At the final stage of the military offensive, the combined, Cuban Internationalist Forces with the FAPLA Forces launched the final assault, and Cuban and Angolan MiG 23s bombed Calueque Dam where apartheid South Africa built its military bunker.

The enemy then realized that its war machinery was broken and its soldiers demoralized without having neither the capacity nor the stamina to match the well-prepared combined forces of Cuban Internationalists Forces, FAPLA, PLAN Combatants and MK. The battle of Quito Cuanavale was a decisive turning point and battle that brought the white apartheid South Africa colonial system to its knees.

It was this reality of the turn of events, that the courageous struggles led by our people intensified, and there were popular uprisings inside South Africa on the street of every major city, town and village that brought us to tipping point where revolutionary change became unstoppable. Workplaces, universities, schools and churches were burning, following a clarion call from the then still exiled ANC to make the country ungovernable. 

During the same year, Cde President OR Tambo declared that” South Africa was pregnant and ready to give birth to democracy”. His bold courageous statement cane at the height of our struggles when apartheid regime declared another state of emergency. This great moment of history was followed by another famous statement by the Commander in Chief when after inspecting the route of the SANDF at cuito Cuanavale when he said” Why stop here, why not continue towards Pretoria”. 

The defeat of the colonial South African army at Quito Cuanavale, Chipa and Calueque had great psychological effect and was a severe shock to the South African white minority settlers. In February 1989, P.W. Botha suffered a stroke and after that his political demise was inevitable.

It is in this context that later President  FW De Klerk, immediately after his inauguration and, following such a massive military defeat at the hands of the liberation movement, , during the occasion of the opening of the apartheid racist parliament in February 1990, announced the end of the state of the emergency, unconditional release of all political prisoners and the unbanning of the entire liberation movement. 

We shall forever be inspired by the words of generosity by the leader of the Cuban revolution Cde Raúl Castro, during the first congress of the MPLA in 1977 when he said” the day our presence here is no longer necessary, only the people of Angola will be able to issue that order.

And when the Cubans here for that purpose withdraw from Angola, we will take with us neither oil,nor diamonds,nor coffee, nor anything else. All that we will take with us is the indestructible friendship of this great people, and the remains of our dead”.

During a solemn welcome ceremony, of the last contingent of the Cuban combatants to come back home, at the pantheon of General Antonio Maceo, the Commander in Chief said the following moving words of welcome” we placed our trust in you. Welcome back, comrades. The homeland receives you grateful and proud. 

Later during the same year, at the occasion of the anniversary of General Maceo, Fidel declared the carrying of operation tribute throughout the Island. In an emotionally charged speech, he said” at this very same moment, simultaneously in every corner of the country from which they came, the remains of all of the internationalists who fell in the fulfillment of their noble and glorious mission are being laid to rest”. 

Humanity shall forever salute the indispensable far reaching acts of heroism by the men and women of the Cuban revolution. We salute their immeasurable acts of heroism in the battle fields along side many of our brothers and sisters in Algeria, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ethiopia, Somali, Sudan, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and our country South Africa. 

The Cuban revolution remains to be an unshakable Ambassador of the revolutionary world movement in the current period of the hostile world dominated by imperialism. The Cuban revolution remains to be the best political school of the world revolution. 

We therefore take the opportunity of this great day, to join the international community, demanding for the immediate end of the economic blockade by the USA government against the people of Cuba. We call on President Donald Trump, to return to the path of the peaceful way of resolving the relations of the two nations, on the mutual principle of the respect of territorial integrity and sovereignty. 

We use the opportunity of this great day of solidarity and internationalism, to support the struggles of the people of Palestine. We call on the Israel government to halt on the horrendous acts of illegal occupation of the Palestine land. We make a call to the international community to support all efforts to respect the sovereignty and independence of a free Palestine state. 

We call on the African Union to accelerate the process for the independence of the people of the SAHARAWI republic. We have to act on common purpose to make the world a better place for humanity. 

As we are standing here this afternoon at the wall of remembrance, reading the names of the many Cuban combatants who fell in line of duty in Angola, I become firmly convinced that time has come more than ever before for the world revolutionary movement to unite. To unite and unite for the sake of the struggles of our people against the hostile world dominated by imperialism and neo colonial forces.

Unity is a precondition to the success of any revolution. It is our task, the task of all revolutionaries, the task of all progressive forces of the world, to work together in our common objectives to make the world a better place to live. 

In honour of these revolutionaries whose names are inscriped in the roll cal on this great wall of remembrance, that as the ANC, we make our commitment to follow on the implementation of the decision, taken by our delegation, under the leadership of our former President Jacob Zuma at Cuito Cuanavale, few years ago. During the visit, it was agreed to identify the graves of MK soldiers and erect a monument in their honour. 

It was further proposed that their remains be brought to South Africa for reburial. I am happy that this process to honour our liberation heroes, and to ensure that they will never be forgotten in the annals of our liberation history, is becoming one of our key priorities as a liberation movement. 

We thank the organisers, and all who are here today attending this event, that you have casted it in the context of the centenary celebrations of the Father of Our Nation, former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. It is indeed befitting that  we do so, because Madiba was always uncompromising in his loyalty and friendship to El Commandante Fidel Castro and the Cuban people.

In doing so I will be amiss not to emphasise that our Long Walk to Freedom is not yet over. We still have many battles to fight for the full economic liberation of our people, and until those battles are won and our people are truly the owners of the land, and in control of the means of production, we cannot claim to have achieved our full liberation. 

I am happy that the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress passed very strong resolutions in favour of Radical Economic Transformation (RET) – it is now for us to ensure that those resolutions do not remain good sounding words, but are indeed implemented without compromise, fear or favour. I have no doubt that El Commandnte Fidel Castro – a true man of action who a aways translated his words into deeds – would have strongly urged us to do exactly so. 

We owe to the many of the unsung heroes and heroines over centuries of our struggles, we owe it to all those men and women of our humane world, those who volunteered their own lifes, in pursuit of our noble struggles, along the long great path of our trenches, for the development of human society.

Aluta continue!

Ace Magashule is the Secretary General of the African National Congress

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY MAMA SOPHIE WILLIAMS DE-BRUYN AT THE 4TH ANNUAL UBUNTU AWARDS HOSTED BY DIRCO

I feel deeply humbled by the honour bestowed upon me, as I am conferred with the O.R. Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award this evening. 

I must say programme director, when I received the letter from DIRCO informing me of my selection as the recipient of this prestigious award, I felt deeply deeply humbled,  more so, when I reflected on the previous four Icons who received this award before me. 

They are Mme Ruth Mompati, Ambassador Billie Modise, the late Johnny Makatini and Mam’ Winnie Mandela. As you know, these are distinguished struggle luminaries, whose guiding principles were loyalty, integrity and service to our people. 

I am happy to report to this auspicious event, that when I visited Mam’ Winnie Mandela in hospital, where she was recovering. She was in her element as we reminisced, the by-gone struggle days. She was in high spirits and was speaking passionately, I could feel her spirit touching me and both our emotions knew no bounds.

I have had a close relationship with each of these luminaries and I can assure you that from our shared experiences, that their sole objective, was for the equal advancement of all the people of South Africa.

Our awareness from very early on was that for all people of the country, continent and world to live free and fulfilled lives, we had to dedicate our own lives to the noble work of advocating for freedom, justice and equality.

As I stand here this evening, I do so fully aware of the enormous work that still needs to be carried out to eliminate the inequalities of our times. I am also concerned that some of our successes have been reversed in certain areas of our development. I am deeply concerned about the ongoing violence and abuse against women and children.

Addressing these challenged calls for working together with a robust, fully engaged, younger generation of leadership. We will continue to support, direct, guide and advise this leadership, to the best of our ability, strength and health in order to chart our way forward as a nation. 

Today I accept this most Prestigious Award, in honour of the women and men who served and continue to serve our country, who have fought in the name of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, to make not only South Africa, but the continent and the world, a better place. 

I accept this award particularly on behalf of some of the Unsung Heroines. I would like to mention a few: 

Late Comrade’s  Yetta Barrenblat, Ellen Maseko, Joyce Moodly-Mohammed, Blanche Le Guma, Hettie September, Mam Florence Maphosho, Lily Diedericks, Kate Moolala, plus the twenty-two (22) trained nurses and mid-wives, from all parts of South Africa, who left  the country, clandestinely  to serve in the Tanzanian hospitals. This is when the esteemed, founding father of Tanzania, the late President Julius Nyerere, appealed to our country’s great son, Oliver Reginald Tambo, for assistance to manage, their hospitals, clinics, and to upgrade their skills and train the Tanzanian staff, following the withdrawal of the British Colonialists from Tanzania. 

As we bask in the glory of our liberation and bathe in the goodness and warmth of our democracy, we are this evening reminded of the sacrifices made by our people to ensure the democratic changes set out in the Freedom Charter, are realised.

Coming back to the award, on reading the letter from DIRCO, the words GLOBAL CHAMPION OF HUMAN RIGHTS and UBUNTU stood out for me.

These words took me back to the early years of the struggle and life in exile. During this period our very existence and safety, was in the hands of friendly countries on our continent and abroad. Without this show of solidarity, our struggle for liberation would not have succeeded and that is why even today, we as a country believe in international solidarity. 

The principle that OR Tambo and the African National Congress espoused in exile comes directly from the Freedom Charter which OR shared in his United Nations address in 1963, following which he added:

“That statement, which declares South Africa to belong to all who live in it, is a concession on the part of the African people, but it is a demonstration of the willingness of the African people to live in South Africa with everybody who wants to live there on the basis of absolute equality – no racism, no racial discrimination, no superior race, no inferior race. On that basis South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”

This characterised his work in exile and laid the foundation of a democratic South Africa’s foreign policy.

Our Madiba, who we are honouring this year, also strongly believed in international solidarity. In his address at the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People in Pretoria in 1997, he stated:

“It behoves all South Africans, themselves erstwhile beneficiaries of generous international support, to stand up and be counted among those contributing actively to the cause of freedom and justice”. 

In highlighting this call from both our former presidents, I urge all of us, especially our young people, to never turn your back on any nation or people who are persecuted. Or who are ostracized for simply wanting to achieve freedom and respect for their human rights; doing that would be to deny the core values of our nationhood.

Ubuntu. As Africans we all know what this truly means, not the loose way that this word is often used. Ubuntu, is based on the ancient African philosophy that promotes and celebrates the success of the group, above that of an individual. And acknowledges our one-ness with each other.

Personally, these two phrases have guided my life and that of my family. 

After being forced into exile, like many compatriots we lived and waged the struggle in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and in Italy, and after 1994 in Amman, were my late husband, Henry “Benny Nato” De Bruyn, was appointed Ambassador to the The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Our children lived in other countries too, where they were allegeable to study. In all these countries, they received nothing but genuine welcome and generosity

In the spirit of Ubuntu, my husband and I, as well as other comrades became parents to many young people who fled South Africa alone especially after the 1976 uprisings. We guided, directed and advised them. Our home became a home to many who wanted to experience a homely atmosphere, and living in this communal way really enriched our lives and those of our children.

In conclusion Programme Director, I have often been asked to share my skills and experiences which began before the Women’s March, continued into exile and then back to into South Africa with the unbanning of the ANC and our democratic elections. 

I would like you to know that my children have established and registered the Sophie and Henry De Bruyn Foundation, which will soon be publicly launched. Programme Director one of its focus areas will be to support women and children in vulnerable communities nationally. This work around support to women and children is my personal pursuit and ambition.

The future I envision for our country, is one in which all of us South Africans, and Africans across the continent and the globe,  unite behind a common interest to uplift our people and to bring peace and prosperity to all of our peoples. 

Once again my deepest thanks to the Ministry for hosting this auspicious event and for honouring me in this special way. I also want to thank the panel for the choice they made, that the OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award, be conferred upon me in this centenary year that we honour our Legends, Madiba and our Grand Lady Mam Albertina Sisulu.

My gratitude also goes out to my family, my late husband and to my Son Angelo and my daughters Danielle and Sonja who have supported me all of my life, in all my undertakings. I feel so blessed to be a South African and I appreciate and love all of you who make this country so great! 

Thank you very much and God Bless you!

TRIBUTE BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE ANC CDE ACE MAGASHULE AT THE FUNERAL OF THE LATE SECRETARY GENERAL OF UMKHONTO WE SIZWE MILITARY VETERANS ASSOCIATION, CDE WISEMAN SANTANA NTOMBELA

Today, we are gathered here, to accompany to its final resting place, the mortal remains of one of the outstanding heroic sons of our national liberation movement, Cde Wiseman Sontana Ntombela . We are celebrating a remarkable life of a distinguished true soldier of our national democratic revolution.

We are accompanying to its final resting place, the mortal remains of a warrior, a revolutionary, a musician, and the most disciplined and committed volunteer of our struggle for the liberation of the people of our country. Forever in our hearts and minds, we shall cherish the memories of the heroism and exemplary leadership of this fallen combatant of our glorious army.

On behalf of the leadership of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, we convey our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and relatives. We convey our condolences to the people of IIzingolweni, to the traditional leaders, traditional healers, business and church communities, to the leadership and membership of the ANC and its Alliance partners, the people of the kingdom of Kwazulu Natal and the whole of the people of our country.

Though human thought and imaginations cannot apprehend his noble contribution to the cause of our struggle for the dignity and freedom of our people, he belonged to the category of the few, but the rare spices, within the ranks of our revolutionary movement. He embodies a life of a calm, self reliant and undaunted revolutionary, whose narrative, remains a true history, of the struggle of our people against colonial oppression and exploitation.

This selfless servant of the masses of our people, went into exile where he received military training in Angola and the former Soviet Union. He rose through the ranks of UMKHONTO we Ziswe, where he carried with distinction, some of the most difficult tasks of our movement.

Some of the episodes of his magnificent contribution and extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism, shall compose the chapters of the history books, which shall be a living testimony, of the true history of the struggles of our people. He was indeed like an eagle that dares to places where some will never see.

His was a character of a special mould, from the melting pots of the strategy and tactics of our revolutionary warfare. During one of his spectacular missions in the underground, he was involved in a shootout with the security police, in an operation which saw two police officers loosing their dear lifes.

As a result of this fatal encounter with the security forces, he was arrested and taken to Kwamashu police station, where he later made a daring escape. He understood well that the skirmish warranted a death sentence and therefore had to employ all avenues, to escape from the prison cells.

He painstakingly stole from the belt of the policeman guarding him, a key of the door of the prison cell he was supposed to be incarcerated in. The police officer could not detect that the key of the prison cell was not more in his possession.

At the middle of the night, when the police officer who was guarding his prison cell fell asleep, he immediately used that moment to confiscate his R1 automatic rifle. It was indeed a life and death moment in the eyes of this beautiful soldier of our revolution.

Aware that the security branch will be coming to interrogate him later in the night, he awaited for them and held the two interrogators, who he together held hostage with the other police officer guarding him. He took from them the keys of the main gate through which he made his daring escape.

There was a massive police hunt throughout the township of Kwamashu and the surrounding vicinity. He managed to stay in a safe house for three weeks in the township, from where he skipped through the border, into the neighboring Swaziland.

Indeed, his was a heroic contribution of the most disciplined soldier, of the glorious army of our national liberation movement. A heroic contribution of one of the most selfless and loyal servant of the struggle of our people.

The occasion of the farewell of the mortal remains of this great revolutionary of our times, is taking place during one of the most important days in the calendar of our struggle. An important day, of the first sun rise, of a South Africa, without the shadow of the mother of our nation, Cde Wennie Madikezela Mandela.

This will forever be the most memorable day, and a day of great significance to narrate the beautiful stories, about the contribution of these great heroes and heroines of our glorious movement, during the difficult path of our struggle for the liberation of our people. We are indeed grateful of her generosity to champion for the genuine struggle of our people.

We also send our warm words of gratitude and condolences, to the families of both Cdes George Nene and Zola Skwayiya, two of the most devoted leaders of our movement, who passed on during the past few days. Our movement, our revolutionary alliance and the people of our country, bow their respects, in memory of these gallant fighters, during this difficult moment of grief. May their soul rest in peace.

We are accompanying the mortal remains of Cde Wiseman, to its final resting place, few days after the people of the world, the continent and our country, celebrated the anniversary of the brutal murder of the heroic young lion of our revolution, Cde Solomon Mahlangu. Marching with pride into the gallows of the apartheid state, defeating the adversity of death before his eyes, he said the following profound words” Mama, Mama, tell my people that I love them very much, tell them that my blood will nourish a tree which will bear the fruits of liberation”.

We accompany the mortal remains of Cde Sontana, few days after the anniversary celebration of the murder of the late General Secretary of the SACP and the Chief of staff of our glorious army UMKHONTO we Ziswe, Chris Hani. We support the cal by his family and the South African Communist Party, that his assassins, should remain in jail until they confess the truth about the circumstances, which led to the assassination, of this great revolutionary of our movement.

We accompany the mortal remains of Cde Ntombela, to its final resting place, on the occasion of a memorable month of the passing on of our late President of the ANC, Cde Oliver Reginald Tambo. We salute the living memories of this great leader of our people and the longest serving President of our liberation movement.

We remember all the unsung heroes and heroines of our struggle, all of those who volunteered and perish in the trenches of our struggle, for the liberation of the overwhelming majority of the people, from Apartheid colonial domination and exploitation. We shall forever treasure their immense contribution to our noble struggle for the emancipation of humanity.

The people of our country, the continent and the world, have all the reasons to celebrate the magnificent lifes of these great monuments of our national liberation movement. We have all the reasons to celebrate the selfless acts of heroism, which saw the defeat of one of the most horrendous state in the history of humanity.

Our people have all the reasons to celebrate the determination of these gigantic leaders of our movement, to usher a new dawn of hope, of a new South Africa, which belongs to all who live in it. A non racial, non sexist, democratic, and prosperous South Africa, of a diverse nation, embraced by the common cause for the freedom and dignity of our people.

Cde Wiseman Ntombela, has always understood that the defeat of the apartheid regime, was not the end but the beginning of protracted struggles for the total liberation of our people, from the bondage of political oppression and economic exploitation. His high level political consciousness, prepared him to understand that power relations in society, is about political and economic emancipation.
He was amongst profound revolutionaries within the ranks of our movement, inspired by the theoretical preposition that political freedom without economic freedom is meaningless. He was indeed a true ambassador of the struggles of the second phase of our transition, for radical socio economic transformation.
Our historic 54th national elective conference, which took place in December 2017 at Nazareth, took decisive resolutions, declaring the present epoch of our democracy, as a second phase of our transition for radical socio economic transformation. The conference mandated the newly elected National Executive Committee, to expropriate land without compensation, and to provide free education to all the students from the working class families and the poor.
The conference took bold decisions to nationalise the Reserve bank, and to accelerate the transformation of the bulk of the South African economic landscape. We dare not to fail this historic mandate of the membership of the ANC and the people of our country, and we dare not fail them achieve the golden opportunity, of these important strategic objectives, of our national democratic revolution.
Contrary to the wishes of our adversaries, of those who are opposed to the noble cause of the struggle of our people, those who want to reduce the true meaning of our democracy, to be only for the singing of our national anthem, and the raising of our national flag, more than ever before, we are committed, to ensure that the majority of our people, are part of the ownership of the economy, in the land of their birth
The achievement of the strategic objectives of our national democratic revolution, is the heartbeat of our movement. Our common determination is to liberate our people from the shackles of poverty, disease and underdevelopment.
One of the overarching resolutions of our elective national conference, was the resolve to agitate for the unity and renewal of our national liberation movement. This is important because unity remains to be a precondition for the success of our national democratic revolution.
Without the unity and cohesion of our revolutionary movement in general and the revolutionary alliance in particular, it will be difficult a task, to consolidate the gains of our democratic breakthrough. Without unity of our membership and the people of our country, it will not be an easy task, to steer the impetus of our immediate objectives, for radical economic transformation.
There is a growing momentum from within and outside our own ranks, to undermine our collective effort for the unity and renewal of our movement. Our detractors are determined to bury our glorious national liberation movement into the dustbins of our history books.
In memory of this revolutionary, whose mortal remains are lying in state before us, we are making a call to all members of the ANC and the people of our country, to work together, and ensure that they defend this movement, which itself, represent the history of the struggle for national liberation. In memory of this gallant fighter, less work hard to isolate agent provocateurs, those whose mission, is to ensure that our movement does not see the light of the day.
But what is important is our understanding of this fundamental principle of unity and renewal. Unity and renewal of our movement is about making those who are from within happy, before you can bring others. Unity and renewal of our movement is about collective leadership and the desire to serve in the best interest of the wishes and aspirations of our people.
We must be worrisome of the growing phenomenon, of some from the ranks of our movement, of preaching unity and at the same time, fueling tendencies of disunity. We cannot achieve the noble objectives of unity and renewal, by forsaking fundamental principles of our movement.
Therefore it is in the best interest of the future of the people of our country, that we walk the talk of unity, not only to talk about it, but to walk and to walk about it. This is the only way to treasure this great movement of our people.
One of our renowned philosophers, Frederick Engels, says that one must not allow oneself to be misled by the cry of unity. Those who have this word on their lips, are the ones who sow the most dissension. The biggest brawlers and rogues at times shout the loudest for unity.

 

The unity of our movement and our people is about advancing the interests of the majority of our people and not our wishful thinking. Our unity and renewal must reflect the concrete realities of our struggle and not our wishful thinking.

The unity and renewal of our movement and our people is about radical socio economic transformation. It is about tilting the balance of forces in favor of the wishes and aspirations of the people of our country.

We will forever treasure the contribution of this gallant fighter of our revolution. His determination to lay down his own life for the freedom of our people goes beyond all human measure.

His grave shall become a monument decorated with flowers of bravery and remarkable medals of a true soldier. From now on through eternity, the thrones of the noble realms, will give thanks to his glorious acts of selflessness.
As the eyes of the coming generations turn back to pay its tribute to this great revolutionary, they shall enjoy the glory of a prosperous nation, whose its freedom and dignity is his epitaph. A nation whose its prosperity, peace and tranquility, shall be his everlasting memorial.

Hamba Kahle a true soldier of UMKHONTO we Ziswe, we shall take your spear and revolutionary courage, to accelerate our struggle for radical economic transformation.
Hamba Kahle Mkhonto.

Amandla