Madiba 90

'ANC undermining Madiba legacy'

2008-07-18 16:13

Special Report

Mandela: SA needs good leaders

Now as much as ever, South Africa needs disciplined leaders, Nelson Mandela has said at birthday celebration in Pretoria.

Cape Town - Former president Nelson Mandela's legacy is being undermined by powerful elements in the African National Congress, DA leader Helen Zille said on Friday.

In a weekly online newsletter, in which she paid tribute to Mandela on his 90th birthday as "the man who did more than any other to overcome the dehumanising system of apartheid", she warned this should not be allowed to happen.

"We must acknowledge that his legacy is being undermined by powerful elements in the ruling party. His vision is in danger of being relegated to a halcyon moment in our nation's history. We cannot allow that to happen.

"Mandela's vision needs to be resuscitated. This would be the best birthday gift we could ever give him," Zille said.

Ironically, this vision was being undermined by the ruling party's new leadership.

"For them, the Constitution and the rule of just law is an impediment to their personal ambition for total control.

"As ANC President Jacob Zuma has repeatedly stated, he believes the ANC is more important than the Constitution, and that the party will rule until Jesus comes back.

"In contrast, Nelson Mandela affirmed his commitment to the rule of just law protected by a Constitution many times during his term as president of the Republic."

Unlike his successors, Mandela never allowed his loyalty to the party to supersede his allegiance to the Constitution.

"As he enters his ninety-first year, the best birthday present we can give Madiba is a joint commitment to making the Constitution a living, breathing reality. The man who sacrificed so much for freedom deserves no less," Zille said.

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