“We must reclaim our streets. That should be the commitment of the Mandela Day” ANC Secretary General, Comrade Gwede Mantashe urged community workers in Oranjeville, Metsimaholo Location, in Free State today, 18 July 2017.
In marking the International Nelson Mandela Day, the Secretary General visited the Oranjeville Community and visited households with elderly persons, disabled persons, and a Primary School.
Addressing community workers at a local community hall, the Secretary General spoke at length on the fight against femicide and unity of the organisation.
“Unless street committees are formed, our women will be abused, killed and they will stay in fear. It is this the community that can save our women from femicide and rape. Form street committees to protect your women and children” Mantashe said.
Speaking on unity, Mantashe started off by quoting President Nelson Mandela “People are taught to hate, but, we can teach them to love, because love comes more natural to a human being”
“It is our duty to remind ourselves to love each other. We must love ourselves even if there are Conferences. Contesting a position, does not make those in contestation enemies” Mantashe added.
Deepening unity remains the primary objective of the ANC, as declared in the 2017 January 8th statement. ANC Secretary General emphasised on the importance of fostering unity within the ANC. “Unity is very important, particularly today when the ANC is so divided. We are divided to the point of hating each other” Mantashe said.
“If you see mistakes of a Comrade, you must be part of finding a solution to help him, not to destroy him. This 67 minutes must used it for that. We are members of the ANC, we belong together. We may have different views. Historically, ANC explains that diversity of views is the source of strength” Mantashe added.
Coming from the 05th National Policy Conference, where robust debates took place on policies and heading towards the 54th National Conference, which will adopt policies, Mantashe said “We have a duty to convince each other with the logic of argument”
Mantashe warned against classifying Comrades with different views as enemies. “If we become enemies, you will see what is happening in KZN and spreading to the Eastern Cape lately, of Comrades when they disagree, they go to an extent of killing each other. That is un-ANC” Mantashe said.
“ANC is under siege, attacked by enemies. If we are divided, our enemies will come amongst us and divide us further. It must not be easy to take a public platform and insult your Comrade” Mantashe added.
In concluding his address, the Secretary General spoke on ethical behavior of Comrades. “Our people are expecting us to behave ethically. If we don’t, we disappoint them. They feel betrayed. That is why it becomes important for us to put the highest standards of behavior” Mantashe said.
“If we can have justice to fore and friend, we are not going to want to destroy one another, but, we are going to support each other” Mantashe concluded.