RESPECT was the theme of the speech of Nomvula Mokonyane, member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), when she urged community members in the Jan Phokwane Municipality to stop criticising the ANC during her visit in the province over the weekend.According to Mokonyane, the ANC was founded by stromg leaders in a church in Waaihoek in Bloemfontein and should not be belittled. “When we face challenges, we send our problems to the One Above. “It was said in the Bible that we must respect those who are in the positions of authority, because they are anointed by the word of God,” she quoted to the cheering crowd.She stopped the fuming residents right in their tracks when they were about to express their anger around their mayoral candidacy.She stopped a man from Jan Kempdorp who shouted “where is Zuma”, telling him to respect his elders, before she gave a lecture on the policies of the ANC, after which the community meeting was ended.The Hartswater and Jan Kempdorp communities were disappointed to see Nomvula Mokonyane instead of ANC president, Jacob Zuma.Some were also disappointed because the programme was delayed by three hours.Mokonyane was accompanied by NEC member Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the acting Northern Cape chairperson, Kenny Mmoiemeng, as well as the provincial leadership, to the Phokwane Municipality.She emphasised that true leadership did not mean fighting for positions, but meant allowing the party’s NEC to make the right decisions. She said that the ANC looks at humility, discipline and respect when it deployed and redeployed.Using herself as an example, she said that she was not redeployed into the premiership as she had expected. She had been a premier for five years in Gauteng and was not elected as expected.“I had many people’s support, but the ANC decided otherwise and they said my term was over. There were comrades who wanted to march for my reinstatement, but I said not in my name, don’t use my name to fight for premiership, as I was not born a premier. I was jobless for three weeks before the ANC decided to choose me as a minister.“If you respect the ANC, it will respect you in return,” she said.“If you don’t do that, I promise you that you will end up like the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress), who continue to fight.” She compared Bantu Holomisa, the leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), to the donkey that carried Jesus Christ and was cheered and greeted by people who were happy for Christ. “When it returned, the same people started hitting it. “This means you are popular while you are in the ANC and when you leave the ANC, you will be walking all alone.“Terror Lekota, who was the national chairperson of the ANC, refused to accept democracy and thought he would build Cope. Now it is breaking apart time and again. That is all due to the strength of the ANC’s ancestors and its powers,” Mokonyane said.“Julius Malema left the Youth League thinking that he will be ‘ngagara,’ now he is being supported by the people who did not register. We are supported by people who are registered.”She admitted that there was no house that did not have problems and urged the close to 400 community members who had gathered in the Jan Kemp Primary School hall not to allow “fools and bubble gum parties without plans” to lead them.“We have our own manifesto launch where we can highlight our achievements. Bao ke bo ‘mabina go tsholwa (opportunists)’. ”Angry members of the community were calmed by what they described as wise words after the address by Mokonyane. Even those who cheered the young people who took to the stage and loudly complained of the community not wanting their mayoral candidate, which they said the ANC had imposed on them, were calm at the end.