Lessons from the NGC

2010-10-02 10:49

As an ANC branch delegate, I find it necessary to share a few lessons that were taught to us at the party’s national general council (NGC).

The media reports about personal interests prevailing at the expense of implementing the 2007 Polokwane conference and last year’s electoral mandates got myself and many cadres worried and eager to see and contribute to the success of the NGC.

Both print and electronic media, including some individuals among our own progressive forces, had told foolish fairytales that ­almost meant and signified that the ANC’s centre, and the presidency in particular, were not holding.

As we approached the NGC, we witnessed many headlines about the proverbial mother body (the ANC) being at odds with its children (the ANC Youth League).

These and other foolish ­fairytales were told so many times they started to sound true.

However, the media, prophets of doom and other self-appointed ­analysts were disappointed because of our ability to close ranks and ­remember that revolutionary cadres had no interests of their own other than ensuring our skills and services contributed to making sure the ANC continued to be an effective ­instrument of liberation.

There are many lessons to be taken from this NGC.

The first is that ­being outside of the ANC, particularly in the media, means you can never set the agenda for the ANC and we must all try to understand the ruling party first before speaking or ­imagining things about it.

The second lesson is that no ­matter how many times lies are told, they can never be a substitute for the truth.

The adoption of the presidential and organisational reports without too many amendments indicates that the existence of a fight is a figment of the imaginations of those who do not acknowledge that the ANC encourages different views.

Manufacturing lies is just a means of increasing sales figures, which is partly why I ­support the establishment of a ­media appeals tribunal.

The third lesson is that within the ANC cadres can rise above personal interests and any perceived or real differences, and close ranks for the sake of defending and advancing the national democratic revolution.

The ANC gets its strength from the ­expression of different views within the organisation.

The fourth lesson was the re-affirmation of the tripartite alliance’s ­relevance and that such an alliance is a product of practical and common struggles.

Put simply, the NGC taught us that our alliance can’t ­depend on pacts signed in boardrooms because it emanated from a practical programme and common history nourished by the blood of many cadres.

The final lesson learnt was in the leadership’s assertion that the ANC, despite a premature obituary, ­remains the people’s parliament and that its centre is indeed holding.

The revolutionary discipline ­displayed by all delegates, including the youth league, vindicates the view that no matter what prophets of doom hallucinate about our ANC, our ­vision and our future, the party (and its alliance) remains a force to be reckoned with because it lives and it leads.

» ?Thembinkosi ’Guerilla’ Zondi is an ANC member and youth league branch secretary. He writes in his personal capacity.

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