ANC pioneer honoured

2013-01-12 00:00

THE ANC’s founding leader and former president-general Pixley ka Isaka Seme was yesterday honoured when the party’s provincial office in KwaZulu-Natal was named after him.

Seme, born in 1881 in Inanda, Durban, had in 1911 penned a document, The Native Union, which was to become the founding document of the forerunner to the ANC, the SA Native Congress.

He and other leaders formed the ANC in 1912 as a means to deal with issues that faced black people.

Speaking at the event to mark the ANC’s 101st anniversary, President Jacob Zuma said the office was named after one of their prominent leaders.

“He was very intelligent. He had a great vision and was one of the great minds that formed the ANC,” Zuma told the hundreds of people that braved the pouring rain outside the ANC provincial offices.

“He had a clear idea what the ANC was to achieve. We are happy with the naming of the offices which will make his name remain forever,” he said.

Zuma also said the naming of the office happened at a time when KwaZulu-Natal was fortunate to host the party’s birthday, adding that the first meeting of the national executive committee after the Mangaung conference was also held in the province.

In an apparent jibe at other parties, Zuma said it was nice to be in the ANC. “I’m sure it is cold outside the ANC. They are getting cold. It is hot in the ANC.”

Zuma called on ANC members to strive to become disciplined volunteers.

“They [volunteers] bring discipline in the ANC. They are not after positions, but ask what the organisation and what the leaders say.”

He said the opening of the provincial office was important in showing the party’s strength.

“The office is where we go when we have problems.”

Seme’s great grandchild, Vezindaba, said his family was thankful Seme was honoured.

“This is a glorious and joyous ocassion,” said Vezindaba, who predicted the ANC would win the 2014 general elections by a two-thirds majority.

Vezindaba was pleased that the office’s name was spelt correctly, but called for the proper spelling of streets named after his great-grandfather.

Earlier, ANC supporters paraded through the city as part of the celebrations.

The procession started on Pixley ka Seme Street and proceeded through the city centre and ended at Stalwart Simelane Street, where the ANC provincial offices are located.

After formal speeches, a ribbon was cut inside the offices and the building’s name was unveiled.

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