Dawn of a new era

2020-02-12 06:02

THE article in The Witness of January 31, titled “JZ camp shifts stance”, refers.

For much too long in the history of the ANC Moses Mabhida Region, we have attracted the media for the wrong reasons, which unfortunately is contrary to ANC values, its character and traditions.

One of the aims of the ANC is to strive for maximum unity of purpose and function among its members.

At all times, every member of the ANC shall be reminded of the oath and declaration that we all signed voluntarily when we joined the organisation, which reads as follows: “I […], solemnly declare that I will abide by the aims and objectives of the African National Congress as set out in the constitution, the Freedom Charter and other duly adopted policy positions, that I am joining the organisation voluntarily and without motives of material advantage or personal gain, that I agree to respect the constitution and the structures, and to work as a loyal member of the organisation, that I will place my energies and skills at the disposal of the organisation and carry out tasks given to me, that I will work towards making the ANC an even more effective instrument of liberation in the hands of the people, and that I will defend the unity and integrity of the organisation and its principles, and combat any tendency towards disruption and factionalism.”

It’s quite a long declaration indeed, hence so many of us easily forget the reason and purpose we had for joining the ANC.

It is with this background that the article mentioned above has provided a glimpse of hope and comfort to many ANC members, branches and society at large in all areas of the Moses Mabhida Region, particularly in all the municipalities within the uMgungundlovu District, specifically the Msunduzi Municipality and the capital city of KZN.

Every member of the ANC who is sincere, honest and loyal to the principles and values of the ANC, and who subscribes to its character, is at ease and humbled by the stance taken by the comrades who were interviewed by The Witness who spoke on behalf of their different lobby groups, and unapologetically pronounced that enough is enough, let’s all unite and put the interests of our glorious organisation over and above our misguided and narrow personal interests. All ANC members must guard against the few individuals within our ranks who are determined to divide us and destabilise our region. These members must be exposed and rejected.

I would like to echo the same sentiments alluded to by these comrades, that a winner-take-all attitude is not an option, and it must be discouraged. A give- and-take attitude is the only solution.

Even though I disagree with the perception suggesting that there is a Jacob Zuma camp and Cyril Ramaphosa camp within our region, it is worth noting that we are all comrades and members of the ANC led by the current NEC.

We may, however, belong to different lobby groups as we prepare for the upcoming regional conference, notwithstanding all the unfortunate challenges confronting our organisation in the region. But this has got nothing to do with the 54th ANC national conference held at Nasrec in 2017.

Lobby groups are a norm and standard in the ANC, provided that they conduct themselves within the prescripts of the ANC constitution.

Finally, after a very long time, common sense has prevailed. It is precisely for this reason that I term this wonderful milestone a “dawn of a new era”.

Now is the time for comrade Thulani “Two-ways” Xulu, being a convenor of the regional task team, to come up with a road map that will work as a guiding tool for the lobby groups that will embrace the intended objective, which is to build an even stronger and united ANC.

In conclusion, I am of the opinion that at the next regional conference, contestation is not an option, simply because contesting for the sake of contesting does not make any political sense, particularly under the current circumstances and the current highly polluted environment as this could put a lot of strain on the organisation and derail our efforts to unite the ANC.

Most importantly, in most cases, comrades who form and participate in lobby groups come from the branches, and seek and derive their mandate from their branches. Therefore, any notion that seeks to suggest anything to the contrary is misleading and unfounded.

Lastly, hopefully the majority of ANC branches will welcome the idea that forms the basis to unite us all.

• Alpha Shelembe is former MPL (KZN) and former ANC Moses Mabhida regional chairperson. He writes in his personal capacity.

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