Open Letter to Ronnie Kasrils

By Drum Digital
14 April 2014

Open Letter to Ronnie Kasrils, by Dr. Essop Pahad

My dear comrade Ronnie,

For more than 50 years we worked together as comrades in the structures and leadership of the ANC and the SACP. I always value your friendship, comradeship, heroism and passionate commitment to our movement and our freedom struggle. I continue to regard you as one of my closest and dearest friend and comrade.

As a comrade and friend I must emphasise that I categorically and emphatically disagree with your approach in the so-called Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote no campaign.

This is in essence a desperate anti-ANC campaign in favour of the opposition parties. Whatever the differences we have with the ANC or even serious concerns about developments in the ANC and the government, I do not believe that a hostile anti-ANC campaign will contribute to assisting the movement to correct the mistakes and take steps to fight corruption, factionalism and disunity in the ANC and the Alliance.

As comrade Pallo Jordan put it most succinctly when he wrote: “Terrible deeds that compromised the movement’s principles were committed in the course of the struggle. Some opted to leave the ANC at such moments. Hani, like most of us, chose to remain in the ranks to rectify the errors and heal our self-inflicted wounds rather than leaving and surrendering the movement to the untender mercies of those likely to undermine its values.”(Business Day, April 10, 2014). I believe it is also a good guide on how to conduct ourselves in relation to the present developments in the ANC, the Alliance and government.

The ANC, notwithstanding serious problems within it, remains the most effective instrument to bring about fundamental change and transformation in our country in favour of the poor and workers, the continent and international relations.

Given your deep commitment, which I and many others share, to the struggle of the Palestinians for freedom, democracy, peace and justice, I frankly don’t understand how a mass solidarity movement in support of the Palestinians can be built in our country without the active involvement of the ANC cadres, members and leaders.

It is therefore a great pity that you have chosen this path of an anti-ANC grouping. It is not too late to remedy the mistake.

I remain convinced that the country, the continent and progressive forces in the world want and need a strong, united, cohesive ANC.

I believe many of our comrades and Veterans share my wish that you re-think the position you are taking

Yours in the struggle,

Dr. Essop Pahad

Editor – The Thinker Magazine

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