Call for unity, introspection at tombstone unveiling for ANC veteran

2017-10-28 16:29
Paul Mashatile (Supplied)

Paul Mashatile (Supplied)

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Gauteng - ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile, called for unity and introspection when he  unveiled a tombstone for the late Ephraim Motlalepula Nkoe at the St Peter Claver Hall in Pimville on Saturday.

Nkoe, a member of uMkhonto weSizwe and a founding member of youth organisations like the Soweto Youth Congress (SOYCO) and the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO), was laid to rest in 2013.

Fresh ideas

“It is befitting that we are gathered here today, a day after the 30th Anniversary of the formation of SAYCO - an organisation that Cde Eph dedicated his youth to building to become one of the most militant formations our country had come to know,” said Mashatile.

He described Nkoe as an accomplished thinker and fearless revolutionary who always expressed his views on political and other issues.

“[Nkoe] would engage in robust political debate in search for fresh ideas and answers to the challenges that our movement was facing,” he said.
Mashatile said incisive minds such as Nkoe’s were especially missed now as the ANC faced an ever-deepening crisis. 

Provide answers

“I wish to state without fear of contradiction that if Cde Eph was with us, he would fearlessly ask the difficult questions: how did we get to where we are and what needs to be done, urgently so?

 “Never one to shy away from engaging robustly, he would have ventured to provide concrete, unequivocal answers to these questions. I am certain that Cde Eph would be saying we are here because we, as the movement, have become self-serving,” said Mashatile.

“He would be saying we are where we are because we have abandoned our tried and tested values of humility, selflessness, moral uprightness and service to the people,” he said.

"He would be saying we are here because we are seen to be embracing corruption and greed whilst rewarding mediocrity.

“In short, he will be saying the ANC, the organisation he loved and sacrificed his youth for, has gone astray,” said Mashatile.

He said that Nkoe would not have stopped there, however, as he was a visionary and would have also offered up solutions.

“He would be saying we need to make an honest introspection to determine exactly what has gone wrong.

Thrives as a leader

“He would be insisting on not only a diagnosis but also a prescription of a cure to the ills that are afflicting our movement.

“Cde Eph would be saying we must return to the basics and that is embracing the values again that have ensured that the African National Congress not only survives but thrives as a leader of society over a hundred years,” he said.

Mashatile said in honour of Nkoe, ANC leadership should ensure that the leadership collective that emerged at the December conference was a reflection of what the ANC was historically known to stand for.

“In honour of Cde Eph and other martyrs, that collective should be women and men that reflect the demographics of ANC membership (generational mix) who are committed to not only restore the dignity of the ANC but also catapult us to a higher moral and ethical trajectory,” he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  paul mashatile

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