ANC in dark times – Lindiwe Sisulu

2017-04-29 22:59
Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu addresses the opening of new ANC branch in Keiskammahoek near King William’s Town, where she has been nominated to run for the ANC presidency in December. Picture: Tebogo Letsie

Minister of Human Settlements Lindiwe Sisulu addresses the opening of new ANC branch in Keiskammahoek near King William’s Town, where she has been nominated to run for the ANC presidency in December. Picture: Tebogo Letsie

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Cape Town - Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Saturday begged ANC members not to give up on the party, saying the party now needs their help to get it out of its “dark time.” 

“Don’t give up on us, it is dark times… we are experiencing [a] dark moment, only you and your faith in us will take us out of our dark moment,” Sisulu said in a speech which was broadcast by ENCA

“Let us not go to December and experience what happens to us in Polokwane. Let us retain the dignity we have because every time we get to a place like Polokwane, we lose some of our members. We cannot afford it now.” 

Sisulu, who is believed to be a leading candidate for ANC president in December, was delivering the Lillian Ngoyi memorial lecture for ANC ward 87 in Khayelitsha. 

She said she disagreed with a statement by former president Kgalema Motlanthe the ANC should first reach “rock bottom” for it to be saved. 

“The country depends on a strong ANC. Never mind what they are saying about us out there, ultimately, they depend on us who rescued them from oppression,” Sisulu said. 

“We cannot reign over the demise of the ANC with the hope that through some magical wand we will find our way out.” 

Sisulu said the point Motlanthe was making is that the ANC is on a steep decline to “rock bottom.” 

 “Today we are living in an era where we are more defined by the strife’s in the ANC than by the gains we have made in government,” she said. 

“The dignity of the ANC on a regular basis is disintegrating… The people’s trust in our movement is paramount and we dare not experiment with it.”  

Support of the young people

Former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini attended the lecture where he endorsed Sisulu’s candidacy for ANC president.

“Comrade Lindiwe has the undivided support of young people, mostly underprivileged, those that still live in squatter camps and squalor,” Dlamini told News24. 

“She is exposing the real suffering that Africans live under so she has our support. For one reason and for all reasons, the country is ready for a mother touch.” 

Dlamini said he was speaking on behalf of the general youth in the country. 

“Lindiwe supports the call for free decolonised education, there is no women with quality calibre that will not support free education,” he said. 

Mcebo faces accusation of inciting violence and urging students to prevent others from attending class at the University of Witwatersrand. 

Referring to Mcebo, Sisulu called on “young people” to make a difference in their communities. 

“I challenge you now to use that free time you have to uplift the poorest of the poor out of poverty,” she said. 

Sisulu's lecture was part of an ANC program to honour struggle veterans and icons during April. 

She heralded Lilian Ngoyi, the first female national executive member of the ANC, as an example of selfless female leadership. 

Non-sexist

Sisulu said Ngoyi experienced an ideal environment during visits to the Soviet Union which inspired passages in the Freedom Charter.

“Lilian Ngoyi experienced Jerusalem during her visits to the Soviet Union,” Sisulu said. 

“It was here that she fervently wished that this Jerusalem should exist in her country so that her people can get the full benefit out of that.”

Ngoyi made sure the passage ‘non-sexist’ was added in the freedom charter, Sisulu said. 

According to SA history online, Ngoyi led the women's anti-pass march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 which was one of the largest demonstrations staged in South African history.

She was arrested for high treason along with 156 others in December 1956.

Ngoyi passed away in 1980, aged 69, due to heart problems. 

Read more on:    enca  |  anc  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  politics

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