Chaos at memorial service

2017-04-18 06:00

THE late Ahmed Kathrada dedicated his life to the liberation of the poor and marginalised people of South Africa. The Active Citizens Movement, which organised the memorial service in Durban on Sunday, applied to the courts to have the ANCYL barred from attending but its court bid failed.

What the movement anticipated taking place, which was a disruption of proceedings, did happen. Senior officials like Sihle Zikalala and Zweli Mkhize tried to quieten the ANCYL supporters with limited success.

Political analysts are saying that the ANCYL supporters are becoming a law unto themselves. It seems that when they feel the truth that is being articulated is against their support base, they drown out the speaker by chanting slogans.

In a democratic dispensation that ensures freedom of speech (which comrade Kathrada fought his whole life for) when it is rudely ignored, it becomes a convenient time to re-evaluate our rights and mechanisms to protect it. Organising an event of such stature takes lots of time and money. To disrupt proceedings is easy.

If this is going to be the culture of forthcoming meetings then there needs to be serious introspection by all political parties to charter a progressive way forwards. If actions of chaos and anarchy are going to be sustained then as a country we are moving backwards. The legacy of a stalwart in the liberation movement was disrespected and dishonoured.

Zikalala said that memorial services must not be used as a forum to ventilate one’s differences. It seems that his message was ignored.

The electorate is looking for stability and clean governance. People are fed up with corruption, which ultimately deprives the poor of resources. Kathrada would want to see an ANC that dedicates itself to the upliftment of the poverty-stricken citizens in our country. He would want to resuscitate the ideology of a better life for all.

Vijay Surujpal

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