ANC must show humility as elections approach

Since last weekend, there has been a strong reaction on Twitter and Facebook following questions raised around former president Jacob Zuma attending the Kgoi Mampuru II annual commemoration day at the Sekwati sports ground in Mamone, Limpopo.

The comments, largely by ANC and ordinary members of society, come weeks after we emerged from the most successful and significant manifesto launch, preceded by January 8 Statement activities.

The build-up, successfully executed by the ANC provincial executive committee, saw President Cyril Ramaphosa, Zuma and members of the national executive committee visit regions and branches throughout KwaZulu-Natal.

This was not only historic, but the involvement of ANC volunteers and ordinary members of communities in the activities bridged the gap between the organisation and NEC members.

The enthusiasm with which they were received, as showed in photos posted on social media platforms, opened the eyes of many who had been disillusioned by the daily bombardment against the ANC in our media.

Seeing Ramaphosa and Zuma together at the gravesite of the first president of the ANC, John Langalibalele Dube, reignited the spirits of activists, ex-combatants and ordinary people who had supported and voted for the ANC. Both leaders restored hope and optimism.

In addition, judging by the huge attendance of the manifesto launch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, there is no doubt that members of the public who were feeling frustrated and disappointed by errors committed by both leaders and members had their commitment to the ANC rekindled.

The manifesto launch was characterised by an incredible amount of unity and a strong spirit of comradeship. It was marked by sharp contrast to the predictions in the media of acrimony, division and booing of President Ramaphosa.

It should be noted that the ANC in KZN has always reiterated the support for the leadership elected in Nasrec and has been emphasising the need for close working together in the ANC, its leagues and allies.

The need to restore the discipline to ANC structures and the restoration of the values of the revolutionary movement, that has ensured its survival for almost a century, has always been underlined by the ANC provincial executive committee.

These lessons are important to all members of the ANC as we approach the national and provincial elections.

This is a period that the ANC should approach with humility, knowing full well that it was the confidence of the people that placed the movement at the helm of the democratic South African state.

This is a privilege any leader of the ANC, at any level, should never take for granted.

Critically, this period provides an opportunity for the ANC to look back at past achievements and assess the many challenges that lie ahead whilst, simultaneously, allowing ordinary members of society to evaluate the performance of the movement they elected into office with such an overwhelming majority back in 2014.

This is also the time for ANC members to assess the criticism levelled against their movement and critically evaluate – counter with facts – the promises that opposition parties are making to them.

Leaders will be expected to account collectively for their collective conduct and performance as well as the unacceptable conduct of the individual leaders which was not befitting the stature of an elected leader of this movement.

The entire leadership must take time to reflect on matters that are brought to them by the members of the public during door to door campaigns.

By and large, conditions of freedom and democracy mean that the ANC as a ruling party representing the majority of the people of the country, has the responsibility to preside over the resources of the public to improve their lives.

This makes the poor people and the majority of all South Africans to be the main and the only focus for the ANC as the leading party in government.

Therefore, it is important for all members of the ANC to take seriously the task of holding accountable all leaders of the ANC occupying different structures within the state.

The responsibility to ensure the ANC-led government delivers lies in the hands of the ANC members primarily more than it does with opposition. This is how the ANC has approached governance in this province over the years.

While we do not have the date of the general elections, all ANC volunteers and all members must participate in door-to- door campaign and elicit concerns of the community.

We need to popularise the ANC and correct all negative perceptions and encourage all to prepare to cast their vote for the People’s Movement of Ramaphosa, Zuma, Kgalema Motlanthe, Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, and Inkosi Albert Luthuli.

Let us go and make history.

* Sibiya is the head of content and knowledge management in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government Communications Deparment. He writes in his personal capacity.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Sunday Tribune

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