Dear Comrade Ronnie

2014-04-21 10:00

Comrade Kasrils, my heart sank when I listened to you and others making a call to the people of South Africa to “vote no”.

This call was accompanied by the most vitriolic attack on the ANC.

You’ve not only denounced the ANC for the upcoming elections, but have written it off completely as a vehicle for revolutionary change and a force for fundamental transformation in our country.

Like many who disagreed with your misguided call, I believe you are committing a profound mistake.

Whatever your frustrations, you simply cannot position yourself against the ANC – the only vehicle capable of taking us to the country of our dreams.

Comrade Kasrils, you should know better why your stance has provoked many of your comrades to come out so strongly against you.

You are one of the few surviving true fighters who have been part of every difficult phase of our struggle.

You are supposed to be the foremost teacher, as you were to the youth in the 1980s, about how to remain steadfast and unwavering as we deal with the challenges of every phase of the struggle.

Your generation successfully transformed the ANC into a potent instrument of liberation. You played a key role in the armed struggle.

You are one of the architects of our democratic transition with all its successes and shortcomings.

You can’t embrace the successes and achievements of our movement and disown its weaknesses.

This is both illogical and cowardly.

Whatever challenges it faces, the ANC has made our country a much better place than it ever was.

The movement is fully aware of the fact it has been going through challenges since it came into power.

The clarion call for renewal made during the 2007 Polokwane elective conference arises from a profound recognition that we need to tackle the challenges brought by governance, what we have referred to as the “sins of incumbency”.

These challenges can only be overcome if we are resolute in positioning and repositioning the ANC to lead in changing contexts. You can’t run away from the ANC.

Comrade Kasrils, you taught us that cadres must never allow their subjective judgement to overshadow or override the objective progress

of the revolution. And the democratic revolution has made tremendous progress over the past

two decades. Yes, we still face many problems, like that of corruption.

But resolutions from our 2012 Mangaung conference as well as our 2014 election manifesto provide answers and hope for the future.

It is for this reason I feel it is disrespectful to yourself and other freedom fighters to have such a campaign as Vote No.

Have you forgotten why you joined the struggle in the first place, Comrade Kasrils?

Why you chose to risk your life and lead rallies at a time when those in power wanted to erase you from the face of the earth?

You fought on, comrade. We rise up every day to continue the work so we don’t fail someone who hails from your golden generation.

Why have you resorted to such a senseless move?

Comrade Kasrils, the Vote No campaign is a profoundly misguided call to endorse the opposition.

It is misleading the people and aims to demoralise ANC supporters to the point of not coming to the defence of the movement.

This call can only be in favour of the opposition.

We want the ANC to continue to win elections overwhelmingly so it can fulfil its mission of the social and economic emancipation of Africans.

To do otherwise will be to betray our forebears.

You’ve availed yourself to the service of our opponents, who have crafted a narrative of a “Zuma ANC”.

President Jacob Zuma is just the 12th president of the ANC. He hasn’t redefined what the ANC stands for.

It is the collective membership of the ANC that defines and redefines its direction.

I hope you will rethink your unfortunate stance.

Makhura is the Gauteng ANC secretary

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