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Vol. 8 No. 8: 14-20 December 2012

Ronald Lamola

Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe: the epitome of the ANC's future!

"A hundred year old movement like the ANC needs a kind of leadership that will enable it to give birth to new ideas and Comrade Kgalema has said it from time to time that the ANC needs to adapt and take care of the needs of the people for it to remain relevant. The 53rd ANC National Conference offers a moment of renewal for the ANC and for al members to reposition the ANC as a vehicle through which the National Democratic Revolution should be pursued."

The ANC Deputy President Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe epitomises the kind of behaviour that all ANC members must emulate to ensure the organisation succeeds in its historic mission for a better life for all. He is a living manual and a source of inspiration towards moulding the kind of political activism that must be embraced by all ANC members. His is a rare breed that is able to live according to the prescripts of the organization, thus setting a consistent and reliable barometer on organisational discipline.

Amongst others, he effortlessly does this through his in-depth and practical understanding of the role the constitution of the ANC must play as the platform from which must flow the muscles and sinews that cement all revolutionaries under one umbrella and that this constitution itself must be adhered to without fail, and for anyone to lead the ANC one must, exemplified through personal conduct, discharge the kind of conduct consistent with the leadership virtues entailed in the ANC document "through the eye of a needle".

His insistence that he would only respond to the question of leadership nomination to the appropriate procedural platform of the elections commission is a clear example of a cadre of the movement that does not want to break organizational principles for the expediency of political convenience.

When some in the ANC were putting pressure on him to give an indication to South Africa whether he would stand or not, he took time off his busy schedule to give us a long political lecture in private on how an ANC cadre should conduct himself. I was fortunate to have such a private conversation with him and he bared without doubt his principled character which is to say the ANC has been able to survive for 100 years because its members and leaders respected the constitution and that the calls on him to indicate prematurely ahead of the role to be played by the elections commission that in itself was breaking the foundation upon which the ANC was founded.

He called upon all of us to desist from tendencies that could undermine the constitution of the ANC. As the young lions of the ANC, we are without doubt inspired by Comrade Kgalema and even more convinced than ever before that in him we have the most appropriate servant of the people to lead the ANC into the next century of its existence.

A hundred year old movement like the ANC needs a kind of leadership that will enable it to give birth to new ideas and Comrade Kgalema has said it from time to time that the ANC needs to adapt and take care of the needs of the people for it to remain relevant. The 53rd ANC National Conference offers a moment of renewal for the ANC and for al members to reposition the ANC as a vehicle through which the National Democratic Revolution should be pursued.

The ANC will best be able to achieve the goals of the second phase of the NDR if we abide by our historical mission to create a better life for all. Radical policy shifts should go hand in hand with a leadership that is trusted by the people as the ANC is a leader not just of itself but more importantly of society at large.

The ANC has been able to lead society because its leaders from inception were people of high moral standing in society and highly respected in their own right. The majority of its leaders were selected from chiefs, priests, lawyers, community leaders and many other proffessionals who had earned respect in their own right because the ANC as a collective desired that it be a movement respected by the people as a whole.

These leaders always listened and galvanized all sectors of society to oppose and resist apartheid hence the Defiance Campaign of the early 1950's was very successful because all oppressed South Africans came together for the first time in an open defiance against the common threats of an oppressive regime.

Thus the current conjuncture of the National Democratic Revolution where the ANC has been accepted by all sectors of society as the legitimage leader of our people requires leadership that will rise beyond where one geographically hails from, and act in the broader interest of all South Africans without racial, tribal, gender or geographical bias.

Such leadership should be acountable to the masses of our people and transparent in dealing with public funds as that is important for the people to continue to trust the movement as their representative in government and parliament. As we go into Mangaung we should know as members of this gallant movement that the people of South Africa are yearning for the restoration of the moral integrity of their movement. They are yearning for their movement to be seized with policies in Mangaung that will change their lives for the better and not to selfishly protect the interests or personal investments but the majority of South Africans in the interest of the nation as a whole.

South Africans want their movement to resume its leadership role in society as a matter of extreme urgency and that their movement should listen to them when they raise their concerns and not to give them undue belittling characterisation.

They also want their movement to listen to varous Sectoral groups in society when they raise their views and not out right dismissal as though they were a threat to the ANC. Comrade Kgalema represent all that the ANC stands for since he practices what is expected of an ANC cadre. He has stood against everything that is said to be a cancer that is rapidly eating our movement. Those that see the ANC as a vehicle for self enrichment use patronage and money to lead the ANC. The ANC Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has neither patronage to dispense nor money to fund a campaign since he bases his political activism on the constitution, traditions and culture of our glorious movement.

He gave space to branches of the ANC to excercise their rights in an open and democratic process and never attempted to predetermine the outcome by attempting or manipulating the BGM processes or that of provincial nominations. Comrade Kgalema is an inspiration indeed, which all young revolutionaries should study as a living manual for political education. He is a rare breed who is able to do in practice that many only do in talking but never walk the talk. Kgalema's acceptance of the nomination for ANC Presidency is a confirmation of his respect to branches and structures of the ANC and to let internal democratic processes flow without undue hindrance.

Structures of the ANC understand that a leader should be elected from the best amongst his peers and not as a product of lobbying that serves the interest of those who want to constitute themselves as an aristocracy to mutually protect their own interests.

As it is, Comrade Kgalema Motlanthe is amongst a few leaders who can go "through the eye of the needle", others will need us to corruptly open a garage door for them to go through and yet the burden of the baggage that they bring into leadership positions would still not let them through. Structures of the ANC should refuse to corruptly and expediently open a garage door for certain people to go through for the sake of political convenience as this will in time undermine the very existence of our glorious movement. Let branches of the ANC decide the future of our organization.

Ronald Lamola
ANCYL Acting President


Economic Freedom Fighters, Unite!

Hlomelang is published every Friday. Comrades can send opinion articles to the editorial team by Tuesday every week for publication the same week on Friday. Articles published do not represent the official viewpoint of the ANCYL but are important as part of the conversation that must thrive amongst ourselves in order to share the various perspectives that abound within our movement and further give meaning to our democratic character.

Views expressed must be within the confines of the ANC and ANCYL policy and constitutional parameters. However, that does not mean perspectives expressed cannot argue for changes of such constitutional and policy parameters as part of public conversation on all social, economic and political matters affecting the ANC, the ANCYL, our country, the SADC region, the continent and the entire world.

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