AbaThembu people send 35 cattle as a gift for the ANC

2012-01-07 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The ANC is considering going into cattle farming with the 35 animals the party will be given today — “to make money”.

The AbaThembu people, of which former president Nelson Mandela is a member, yesterday sent two trucks from KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape full of cattle as a symbolic gift for the ANC’s centenary celebrations.

Party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said they were aware of the gift, but not that it was actually cattle.

“We are excited about the cattle. The ANC must have an income, because money is tight. We could start farming with these cattle…” he said.

The ANC is spending about R100 million on this weekend’s celebrations in Bloemfontein.

Vusi Mvelase, chairperson of the working committee of the AbaThembu, said the gift of the cattle, which he said cost about R245 000, is symbolic.

“About 100 years ago, when the ANC was founded, the then king Dalindyebo sent 115 cattle to feed all the people who came to the founding. The king was the host and it was his responsibility to give the people food,” he said.

Mvelase said the tribe’s gift was a way of ensuring they had their rightful place in history.

Current king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo criticised the ANC this week for twisting history, saying the tribe’s role in the founding of the party is being watered down. He has declined to attend the weekend’s event as a sign of protest.

Mthembu said the AbaThembu have contributed, together with lots of traditional leaders, to the party’s history.

He said the fact that the king isn’t attending, does not mean he is opposed to the ANC.

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