ANC don't know how bad things are - party founder's relative

2016-06-03 10:38
A banner at the memorial for the late Gogo Dube. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

A banner at the memorial for the late Gogo Dube. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban – Maniza Khanyile-Mthembu, one of the relatives of the ANC's founding president John Langalibalele Dube, has questioned whether the ANC is still the same movement its founders envisioned over 100 years ago.

Some of the party’s leaders did not know how bad things were at branch level, she said at the memorial service for Dube's last surviving daughter, Lulu.

Khanyile-Mthembu is a member of the SA National Civic Organisation's national executive committee.

“All they want to talk about is 2017 and who will be the next president, while JZ [President Jacob Zuma] is still the president. I am still talking about 2016," Khanyile-Mthembu said at the service for her aunt at The Durban Playhouse on Thursday.

"I said to the comrades that it was a danger that [EFF leader Julius] Malema, who once said that his blood is black, green and gold, left. Today he does not respect adults. When he left he took others with him.”

Malema, a former ANCYL president, was expelled from the ANC in 2012, and went on to start the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Introspection needed

Khanyile-Mthembu said she preferred not to mingle with leaders in the higher structures.

“If you think that you can lift me into a position and then remote control me, then you can go to hell,” she said.

She questioned if the movement was still the one John Langalibalele Dube had envisioned, and if not, some introspection was needed.

While Lulu was her aunt, she did not tell the public she was related to the Dube family. She had in the past been sidelined because she did not name-drop.

“I don’t want it to be like I am abusing power.”

She said today’s leaders were too busy attending to people’s problems. People were afraid to confront leaders and tell them what they were doing wrong, and instead marched against them.

“I don’t go to marches unless I know what we are marching for. I don’t want to get surprised and get there and there is a #ManizaMustFall.”

She said Zuma recently summoned her and asked her who she was. She told him she could not speak to him because of protocol.

“The president said to me that he had received a call that there had been a death in the family, and why was I working. I told him that I am will go home when I am done with my work.”

Gender parity

She did not want to lose touch with the people she was leading.

“I wish to lead the way I have been leading, going unrecognised. I don’t want to sit in front, I want to sit in the middle row with the people.”

In the past leaders knew how to handle criticism and were honest with one another.

“In the past we told each other the truth and we did not hate each other for it, instead you appreciate it. Today some leaders hate you because you are sitting next to someone that they don’t like.”

She questioned the gender parity in most organisations.

“Stop deputising women in organisations. Why can’t we be secretaries of organisations, why must a woman be the deputy all the time? August 3 [local government elections] is coming. For the sake of John Langalibalele Dube, let us hold each other’s hands and forget about positions.”

Problems in ANC

Speaking on behalf of SA Communist Party, eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo admitted there were problems in the ANC.

“Problems have always been there. What is important is for leaders to come together and sort them out. Some people think that they have to lead and go to the EFF. There is no need to leave the ANC.”

Langa Dube, the grandson of John Langalibalele Dube, thanked the ANC for its support.

“We can see as the family that the ANC is the only vanguard movement of the people of South Africa. It is leading and it is still going to lead the people until eternity.”

Lulu Dube would be laid to rest next to her parents. The funeral service will be held at Inanda’s Ohlange High School, where former president Nelson Mandela cast his vote in 1994. 

The 84-year-old died last Friday after a short illness.

Read more on:    anc  |  durban  |  politics

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