Pride in val­ues and political pedi­gree

CityPress - - Voices -

Iwel­come the care­ful and co­gent ques­tions and com­ments you have in re­la­tion to my can­di­dacy. You rightly point out that I have never been a mem­ber of the ANC but, like so many an­ti­a­partheid ac­tivists, I never felt the need to fill in a form and get a card to be part of the move­ment. It was in my blood.

I am very proud of my political pedi­gree from in­vol­un­tary ex­ile to be­ing al­lowed to re­turn and then hav­ing my pass­port con­fis­cated; cham­pi­oning the United Demo­cratic Front and ANC as a ra­dio jour­nal­ist; and hold­ing of­fice in the cam­paign against the tri­cam­eral par­lia­ment.

My fam­ily’s ac­tive con­tri­bu­tion can­not be sep­a­rated from my own their val­ues are my val­ues, their strug­gle re­sulted in my free­doms. They would have de­fended my political free­doms and not un­der­mined my political choices. My lin­eage is what it is. I can­not deny it. I have nei­ther traded on it nor have I done busi­ness with the state based on this name. The com­par­i­son with the Gupta fam­ily and Duduzane Zuma is flip­pant in this re­gard.

I “courted” the DA not the other way round be­cause I had, like so many, grown dis­il­lu­sioned with the ANC. I saw the need to build a cred­i­ble and sig­nif­i­cant op­po­si­tion so that we could have checks and bal­ances to pro­tect our Con­sti­tu­tion, which is cur­rently un­der fire.

I also re­alised that the val­ues es­poused by the DA are very sim­i­lar to mine. I am a lib­eral with a small ‘l’. I was not parachuted into any role by the DA. The DA in­ter­ro­gated my fit, wel­comed my ap­proach and I joined. I threw my hat into the Ekurhu­leni can­di­dacy. I was op­posed by an in­ter­nal can­di­date. The process was gru­elling. I won. Hav­ing only joined the DA re­cently, I could hardly be ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate in their ac­tiv­i­ties on the ground. Given that I will be 60 years old this year, I think it would be far bet­ter to use my ex­pe­ri­ence and skills at a se­nior level as op­posed to start­ing off as a ground-level ac­tivist been there, done that many years ago! My role and in­ter­est, of late, has been one of ob­ser­va­tion and com­ment your pub­li­ca­tion has car­ried some of my com­men­tary. You have pointed out my his­tory in Jo­han­nes­burg, go­ing so far as to sug­gest that I con­test the ward of my for­mer fam­ily home. I have not lived there since 1982, and one of the val­ues my par­ents fought for was free­dom of move­ment. I have lived in three lo­ca­tions through­out my life and am now head­ing to my fourth. Each time I have im­mersed my­self in my com­mu­nity and be­came “a man about town”. For the peo­ple of Ekurhu­leni, I in­tend to visit ev­ery com­mu­nity over the next month, hear­ing their is­sues and for­mu­lat­ing a man­i­festo that will ad­dress this large and com­plex city. It is a fal­lacy to sug­gest that liv­ing in a sin­gle com­mu­nity arms one with the ca­pac­ity to un­der­stand the needs of 3.2 mil­lion peo­ple. I have ev­ery in­ten­tion of im­mers­ing my­self in ev­ery part of Ekurhu­leni. I have taken a step in line with my con­science and the party I have joined – in line with their phi­los­o­phy of “fit for pur­pose” and have seen fit to use my tal­ents, ex­pe­ri­ence and of­fer­ing in the most ef­fec­tive way, given the up­com­ing elec­tions.

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