No abandoning land reform, Mantashe says
Johannesburg - Dropping the land reform question from the government's agenda would be betraying the ANC's history, the party's general secretary Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.
Transformation should be an ongoing topic as it was of historic importance to the liberation movement, he said in Johannesburg at the launch of a book on the ANC's centenary, Unity in Diversity: 100 Years of ANC Leadership.
"The dialogue must continue. It is happening and is catching fire every day."
The issue should not only be entertained by "a monopoly of sections of society".
Mantashe said the party's year-long centenary celebrations helped South Africans to "re-engage" in dialogue.
He said Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder was trying to rewrite history by suggesting in Parliament last week that black "Bantu-speaking" people had no historical claim to 40% of the country.
Mantashe said the first war of resistance was fought in 1659 by the Khoi and the San people.
"He [Mulder] believes the genocide that followed that war left no Khoi and San people... He believes there were no people left."
Mantashe emphasised the importance of the ANC centenary in educating South Africans, saying "a nation that doesn't know its history is like a tree that doesn't blossom".
He hailed former ANC leaders for instilling the importance of education in black people through establishing education institutions.
"They played a role of providing Africans with intellectual capacity. I can see and feel it in the history of the ANC."
He urged people to buy the book, costing R250 a copy, as it was an important "historical tool". ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa handed the first copy to former president Nelson Mandela last month.