KwaZulu-Natal Legislature Pietermaritzburg: 11 August 2011
It is a tough call to have to debate the
centenary of the ANC in six minutes. In the words of our President,
Prince M G Buthelezi, "The centenary of the founding of the
African National Congress is a matter of no minor importance. It
affects not only the ANC, but the whole of the country."
The founding of the South African Native
National Congress in 1912 was a monumental event in response to
the exclusion of the majority South African Blacks at the
formation of the Union of 1910 by the White Minority.
We reliably learn that in 1923, the South
African Native National Congress was renamed the African
National Congress. I want to touch on a few important aspects
especially of significance to the IFP as we focus on the
centenary celebrations of the ANC.
One of the founders of the ANC, Pixley Ka
Isaka Seme had this to say:" The African already recognizes his
anomalous position and desires a change. The brighter day is
rising upon Africa. Already I seem to see her chains dissolved,
her desert plains red with harvest, her Abyssinia and her
Zululand the seats of science and of religion, reflecting the
glory of the rising sun from the spires of their churches and
universities. Her Congo and Her Gambia whitened with commerce,
her crowded cities sending forth the hum of business, and all
her sons employed in advancing the victories of peace - greater
and more abiding than the spoils of war".
This statement clearly spells out that the
founding fathers of the ANC had:
-A great love for Africa
-A great passion for peace
-A great passion for Economic and political
-A great passion for reconciliation and so on.
The big question to ask 100 years later is how
much of this passion still drives the ANC today.
The IFP has had many of its leaders and
members with their roots in the ANC. We can mention a few like:-
-The late Mrs Ella Nxasana - the 1st IFP
Women's brigade Chairperson
-The late Hon Bishop Alpheus Zulu -
former IFP National Chairperson
-The likes of Dr F T Mdlalose -
former KZN Premier & former IFP National Chairperson.
-The likes of the late Mr Chonoco - former IFP
-The late Mrs F X Gasa - former IFP Woman's
-Prof Sibusiso Bhengu - first secretary
general of the IFP.
-The late Mr Steven Sithebe
-The late Dr Madida - To name but a few.
The greatest of them all is the leader and
Founder of Inkatha Freedom Party, Inkosi Buthelezi. When he
founded the Inkatha Yenkululeko yeSizwe in 1975, he made it
clear that Inkatha was structured on the ideals of the African
National Native Congress as propounded by its founding fathers
in 1912. In fact, even before Inkatha was founded, Inkosi
Buthelezi consulted with the likes of Mr Oliver Tambo, then
President of the ANC, who supported the idea. The late Mr
Cleopas Nsibande confirmed that he was present when Dr O R
Tambo, Inkosi Luthuli and other ANC leaders requested Prince M
Buthelezi not to decline if Amakhosi of the Zulu Kingdom elected
him within the framework of the self-government structures that
the apartheid regime imposed at the time. They argued that this
was going to be to the interests of the liberation struggle to
prevent the balkanization of the country into so called
independent mini states. How much acknowledgement and/or
recognition does the ANC give today to the other organizations
that also fought to end apartheid in this country?
It is clear that from the beginning
reconciliation has not been high on the agenda of the current
ANC leadership. In the past there were attempts, the three a
side, the five a side, but these attempts have completely eroded.
It is also imperative that the role of Inkosi Buthelezi
has been completely negated. From the inception, Prince
Buthelezi called for the release of political prisoners and the
release of Nelson Mandela, before talks about negotiation could
place. The IFP became a political home in 1975 when political issues could not be discussed and debated.
This gave oppressed South Africans the political space to voice their
Therefore, whilst we acknowledge the ANC for
having giving birth to us, the ANC needs to do likewise.
The values, objectives and principles of the
foundations of 1912 are as relevant today as they were then. The
centenary celebrations, amongst other things, offer the ANC the
opportunity of self introspection: to check if those noble ideals
of 1912 are still being adhered to. Of late there have been
widespread and general complaints in the country about jobs for
pal's practices, about the self destructive cadre deployment
practices and worse of them all, the demon and disease of greed
as it is manifested in the tenderpreneurship practices.
The founding principles have been marginalized or maimed,
while practices of cronyism, cadreship, and greed have superseded
the founding values.
If you are not careful enough, the ideas of
George Orwell's Animal farm will be relevant to the African
National Congress today. In this interesting Satire, Old Major
had this to say to the animals before he died:
"And remember also that in fighting
against man, we must not come to resemble him.
Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt
his vices, No animal must ever live in a house, or sleep in a
bed. Or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco. Or touch
money, or engage in trade.
All the habits of man are evil.
And above all, no animal must ever tyrannize
over his own kind.
Weak or strong, clever or simple we are all
No animal must ever kill any other animal.
All animals are equal"
However, the modification of the seven
Commandants caused the animals to follow rules that went against
the original laws which had dictated the entire purpose of the
animal's revolution against man. Instead of the animals trying to
unite together against man, the pigs with power misled the
animals so that the power hungry pigs could reap all the
benefits of being in control.
Honourable Speaker, we congratulate the ANC as
they approach a landmark of 100 years in existence by 2012. We
hope that the centennial celebration will really be an all
inclusive process which will give us all an opportunity to find
one another as South Africans.
In the words of our President, I conclude by
stating that the IFP is part and parcel of the centennial of the
ANC by virtue of a history that cannot be changed. Whether the
IFP will have any part to play in the celebrations, is in
the hands of the ANC.
Contact: Mntomuhle Khawula, 078 303 4542