‘Zuma’s actions over last few days an insult to former ANC leaders and Uncle Kathy’
TMG Digital | 2017-04-01 14:26:35.0
A mourner holds a programme bearing the face of Ahmed Kathrada, who was sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Nelson Mandela, during his funeral at the Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 29, 2017.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
A group of ANC stalwarts and veterans has slammed President Jacob Zuma’s actions over the past few days as an insult to former ANC leaders and to the late struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada.
At the same time‚ the group expressed “sadness and anger” at the cancellation of the official memorial service for Uncle Kathy as Kathrada was affectionately known.
However‚ it said it was pleased that a memorial service for the ANC stalwart was nevertheless still being held on Saturday. The service was organised by the Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela Foundations‚ and the South African Communist Party‚
The group said the service would be an “occasion where the people of his country can honestly articulate their true feelings in a manner that we are sure Uncle Kathy would approve of; in the tradition of the mass mobilisation against the apartheid regime and all that underpinned the historical values and principles of the ANC that the overwhelming majority of our country supported and still do”.
“We cannot speak on behalf of Uncle Kathy but we know that he shared the concerns of many loyal members of the ANC‚ the alliance and the electorate about how far some within the leadership of our movement had strayed from the vision that he shared with all of the leadership of his generation of the creation of a democratic‚ non-racial‚ non-sexist future‚ where there would be real equal opportunities for all.
This belief was most concretely expressed in his tireless work with educational projects for our youth since his release from prison‚” the ANC stalwarts and veterans said in a statement.
It added: “The actions of the President over the last few days where the advice of the ANC leadership was not sought‚ and when given was ignored‚ was an insult to the way that the previous leadership of the ANC had worked; where there was constant consultation and self-correction of the genuine mistakes that any leadership makes given the enormity of the task of working for a better life for all.
It was also a personal insult to the memory of Uncle Kathy as the sackings and reshuffling of the Executive took place while our national flag flew at half-mast and the country was in mourning at our loss.
“Consultation within the movement and beyond was always to ensure that the ANC understood and was sensitive to the people it served; it was never and could have never been based on self-interest of the few against the interests of our country.
“The stalwarts‚ of whom Uncle Kathy was one‚ along with the other surviving members of the Rivonia trial‚ and was the first signatory to our founding document ‘For the Sake of our Future’ will continue to work with and within the ANC to ensure that there is an honest refection by not only the ANC but those within the alliance and beyond on how we arrived at this unacceptable reality of corruption‚ nepotism and self-interest‚ and for the ANC a loss of the trust the country had given the ANC during the struggle against apartheid and since 1994.
“We hope that all who believe in the vision of Uncle Kathy will join us by mobilising in their own way and using their own paths‚ so that the principles of self-sacrifice without thought of self-interest‚ in the interests of all within our diverse communities‚ are once again restored to their rightful place by which leadership is measured.”