KZN A FITTING CHOICE TO HOST ANC FESTIVITIES
THE ANC PEC in KwaZulu-Natal has been consistently mobilising ordinary members of society throughout the province to attend the ANC January 8 celebrations, to be held on January 12 at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The people of this province are privileged to host the biggest celebrations.
The history of the ANC is inextricably intertwined with that of the province. From the party’s formation as the ANC on January8, 1912, it has had some of its core leadership luminaries from KZN, including Josiah Gumede, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, John Langalibalele Dube, Anton Lembede and Inkosi Albert Luthuli.
This is not the first time that KZN has had such honour of hosting such a gathering. The 43rd and 46th annual conferences of the ANC were hosted in Durban, as well as 47th Annual conference in 1955, and were addressed by president Albert Luthuli, the first Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in Africa.
The All-In Africa Conference was held in Pietermaritzburg on March 25 and 26, 1961, to consider the implications of the banning of the ANC and resolved to stage nationwide demonstrations.
The historic 48th National Conference in 1991, the first to be held after the ANC was unbanned, was also held in Durban. Nelson Mandela was elected president of the ANC to take over from president Oliver Tambo, who had become unwell after serving the movement with distinction.
The 48th ANC National Conference came at a time of extreme apartheid-fuelled political intolerance, violence and bloodshed.
A basic underlying motto has been “forgive but never forget”, which means that we as the previously oppressed group are willing to forgive the atrocities we suffered in the name of apartheid, but that in the interest of never repeating the mistakes of the past, we will never forget those atrocities.
Who can forget the uprooting and displacement of thousands of people – some permanently – from their well-established homes and communities, and their being thrust into homelessness and misery?
Who can forget the ruthless and brutal turning of neighbour against neighbour, relative against relative, all in the name of political allegiances – sometimes misguided political allegiances forged as a result of those who wished to maintain the prevailing apartheid-instigated status quo?
By all accounts, this province bore the brunt of this senseless violence, and it was through efforts by a collective leadership of the ANC under the guidance of Jacob Zuma, that peace finally prevailed in KZN.
It is therefore commendable that the PEC has ensured the participation of former president Zuma in the mobilisation of the masses to attend January 8 celebrations.
The message in the Thuma Mina activities is that the ANC is home for all, and no leader should come between all of us and the ANC. The same message was loud and clear when the KZN PEC co-ordinated Thuma Mina community outreach activities addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The participation of both Zuma and Ramaphosa in outreach programmes will ensure unity and strengthen the ANC. Only a strong and united ANC can ensure a landslide victory in the 2019 elections and deliver a future of our dreams.
Our present stability, though fragile, is solidifying, mostly because of the collective effort by the ANC PEC and the role played by the leagues together with the efforts of Alliance partners in KZN.
The ANC in this province has come a long way, learning lessons in building peace in the entire community and consolidation of unity within its ranks. The results have been encouraging.
As we approach January 8 celebrations, it is fitting to ruminate on the role played by the ANC and its leadership down the history of this country. Few, if any, other political movements the world over have as rich a history and longevity as that of the ANC. This in itself calls for celebration.