'People are very angry with the ANC' - Andrew Mlangeni

2017-01-27 18:50
Andrew Mlangeni (File)

Andrew Mlangeni (File)

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Cape Town – ANC veteran and former Robben Island prisoner Andrew Mlangeni said on Friday that voters were frustrated with the ANC and that this has led to electoral losses.

A frail Mlangeni was addressing students at Westerford High School in Cape Town as part of the filming of a documentary series about the Rivonia Trial. The trial, which took place between 1963 and 1964, led to the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and other ANC leaders.

"It’s anger. People are very angry with the ANC. It’s my organisation, but I have to be critical of the organisation," Mlangeni told pupils.

"In the last municipal elections, the ANC has lost three or four metros because of the dissatisfaction of people, and people are saying, 'ANC we are going to teach you a lesson, don’t take us for granted'."

Mlangeni called on the public to continue placing pressure on the governing party.

"Their leadership is divided at the moment and you can’t lead a country when you are divided," he said.

Mlangeni said he believed that support for the ANC would continue to dwindle if issues hampering the party were not addressed soon.

'Twenty years is nothing'

The ANC had also made a lot of mistakes, he said.

"I can mention a few, the Nkandla issue, you have heard about it," Mlangeni said, to the amusement of the pupils.

"You have heard and read about the relationship between our president, the relationship the president has with the Guptas."

Mlangeni also cited the e-toll project in Gauteng as something that had cost the ANC dearly.

It would take another 20 years to reverse apartheid’s legacy, Mlangeni said.

"We [the ANC] have attempted to do away with apartheid laws. We haven’t finished yet. The government is making great progress for the last twenty years. Twenty years is nothing."

"It took the previous government more than 300 years to make all these laws which are oppressing other racial groups, other population groups," he said.

In a response to a question from a pupil, Mlangeni called for an end to race-based classification.

"We all belong to one race, the human race, we are a human race… You live in Africa, you are not a European, you don’t live in Europe. Someone who lives in Europe is called a European, but do you call yourself a European because you're white? No… To me you are an African, a South African," he said.

'You people don’t know apartheid'

According to Mlangeni, the new generation of South Africans did not know how it felt to live under apartheid.

"You people don’t know what is apartheid. You hear, some of you, you hear and probably read in the newspaper [of] the type of government.

"When people talk to you about separation of races, you don’t know what is meant by that, you’ve never seen it."

Mlangeni also criticised university students for violent actions during protests.

"I am not in favour of Fees Must Fall… I am not in favour really of employing violent methods to bring about a Fees Must Fall campaign at universities.

"Let your complaints, your campaigns, be peaceful. They must be done within the laws of the country," the Umkhonto we Sizwe veteran said.

"Don’t go about burning and destroying people’s properties, burning cars in the street, and think that you are doing the right thing. You’re not."

Read more on:    anc  |  andrew mlangeni  |  cape town

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