President Jacob Zuma (Marco Longari, AFP)
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has called on voters to do it for Madiba and vote ANC.
In the party’s regular newsletter, ANC Today, Zuma reminded readers that the ANC was still committed to former president Nelson Mandela’s "revolutionary ideals".
He said the ANC would participate in the August 3 local government election "with the sole intention to win all municipalities in order to further our progressive agenda to transform South Africa and improve our people’s lives in line with the vision of our father, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela".
The letter comes amidst a controversy over the DA using Mandela’s voice in an election advertisement, which showed a voter giving her vote for the DA while thinking of the promises made by Mandela.
Mandela’s grandson, ANC MP Mandla Mandela, objected to this and asked the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC)to take action in this regard.
He said the ANC wanted to retain the municipalities where the party was governing, and win "the few currently in the hands of other parties".
He reminded readers that "Madiba dedicated his entire adult life to the revolutionary struggle of the South African people led by the ANC, believing then as we do now that the ANC is the most effective instrument at our disposal to bring about social change, political freedom as well as total emancipation from economic bondage".
"The ANC today remains highly committed to these revolutionary ideals espoused by the Mandela generation and will take advantage of the elections period to mobilise South Africans from all walks of life behind the vision of Madiba," Zuma said.
He said municipalities would use local government "to accelerate the advance towards the achievement of all the ideals for which Madiba was prepared to die".
"In short, a victory for the ANC on the 3rd of August will be a victory for the ideals of Nelson Mandela."
He warned that people should not entrust something as important as muncipalities to "the hands of inexperienced parties and career politicians who will still have to spend time learning how government works rather than focusing solely on the task at hand".
He said this would undermine "the principle of an uninterrupted and smooth transition from one administration to another".
'ANC has proven track record'
He said the ANC was the only party with a proven track record in all spheres of government and needed to remain in all three spheres of government so that there would be smooth co-operation between local, provincial and national government.
"Cohesion among all spheres of government is indeed critical for service delivery and can unfortunately be undermined by the undesirable situation in which different spheres are occupied by different political parties, all pursuing their programmes which are at times contradictory.
"In such a situation, a lot of time is wasted negotiating whose programme must take primacy and on this basis, service delivery is compromised," he said.
Zuma urged ANC volunteers and campaigners to intensify the party’s campaign during the month of Mandela’s birthday, "convincing them to renew the contract they have signed with their movement to create a better life for all".
"Indeed, this is a contract signed by the blood, sweat and tears of too many of our people who made untold sacrifices in the hope of a better tomorrow," he said.
He reminded readers that Mandela had always insisted on unity in the ANC, and he called on members not to betray Mandela’s ideals with infighting, the destruction of property and the killing of comrades.
The ANC's election list process has been accompanied by widespread violence, especially in Tshwane where property was destroyed and five people killed in the violence that followed the party's announcement of former minister Thoko Didiza as the mayoral candidate.