Honouring first ANC president, Dube

2012-01-05 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal chapter of the ANC kicked off its provincial centenary celebrations yesterday with a visit to the grave of the ANC’s founding president, John Langalibalele Dube, at Inanda, north of Durban.

During the ceremony ANC provincial leader Zweli Mkhize and other top provincial leaders laid a wreath at Dube’s grave.

The ANC said yesterday’s ceremony was part of the its 12-month programme to celebrate 100 years since the establishment of the ANC, which will last until December when the national elective conference is scheduled to take place in Mangaung (Bloemfontein).

This Sunday more than 100 000 ANC supporters and heads of states from different countries are expected to converge at Mangaung for the main centenary celebrations to mark the establishment of the ANC on January 8, 1912.

In his speech, Mkhize appealed to ANC members across the province to observe discipline during the centenary celebrations and to “give the event the dignity it deserves”.

“Our presence here today is not only a gesture to his [Dube’s] family, but being here in these environs in which one of the giants of our liberation struggle once lived and worked in pursuit of a dream to free his people from the yoke of oppression, imbues us with a sense of rejuvenation and renewal …

“We have come here to re-enact the journey that president Dube took a century ago as we, ourselves, head for Mangaung to attend the January 8 celebrations …”

Addressing the gathering, Dube’s grandson, Langa Dube, lamented the lack of respect and discipline within the ANC and emphasised that discipline needed to be maintained within the organisation, “… and if a need arises, those who break the rules of the ANC must be expelled”.

He also complained about the lack of decent housing in the Inanda area, despite the area’s rich history where, besides Dube, three other prominent leaders — Mahatma Gandhi, Shembe Church founder pro­phet Isaiah Shembe and late ANC president Pixley ka-Isaka Seme — come from.

The ceremony was also attended by Lulu Dube (80), Dube’s only surviving daughter, who urged all South Africans to participate in the centenary celebrations.

Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala released the provincial 12-month centenary celebrations programme to be held at different areas across the pro­vince.

Each month represents the era of the past 12 ANC presidents, from Dube to Jacob Zuma, whose contribution in the struggle will ironically be celebrated in December, the same month of the ANC’s national elective conference.

Zuma is the fifth ANC president from KwaZulu-Natal after Dube, Josiah Gumede, Seme and Chief Albert Luthuli.

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