Debate On The 2012 Centenary Of The ANC -
By Mntomuhle Khawula MPL

 KwaZulu-Natal Legislature Pietermaritzburg: 11 August 2011 


Hon Speaker


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 development.

-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 Treasurer General
-The late Mrs F X Gasa - former IFP Woman's Brigade Chairperson
-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 take 

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 political opinions.  

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 brothers.

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