As we celebrate the 105th anniversary of the African National Congress, the National Executive Committee, correctly declared 2017 as the year of Unity in Action.
During this year we will also celebrate the centenary of the birth of our revered leader, Oliver Reginald Tambo. He was the glue that kept the ANC as a united disciplined revolutionary movement under the most challenging times in the history of our struggle.
It is indeed in true African tradition and practice that in difficult times we summon the spirits of our ancestors to help us navigate through what might seem to be insurmountable problems haunting us as the living. In doing this we seek to emulate the best qualities bequeathed to us by those who led us through stormy weathers in their lifetime.
The combination of the clarion call for the 105th celebration of the birth of our movement and the centenary of the birth of Comrade OR affords us the opportunity for deep reflection and introspection.
We can’t escape posing the question as to whether we are still on cause in our stewardship of the National Democratic Revolution. We also have to honestly and frankly answer painful questions related to whether we still have the mantle to deliver on the aspirations and expectations of the embattled masses of our people?
We somehow in the decisions taken in the last NEC meeting mapped out activities which will help us begin to answer the question; what is to be done to act in unity to restore the glory of the ANC that OR handed over to us intact and pleaded with us to look after it.
The NEC correctly decided that we should organize an MKVA conference which should result in uniting ex MK combatants primarily to take care of the challenges they face and to contribute towards efforts to unite our movement.
The revitalization and strengthening of Veterans League as the reservoir of political and organizational experience to embolden our long stated goal of organizational renewal is welcomed.
The league can also contribute immensely towards political education of our membership on the history, traditions and values that made the ANC survive this long. The convening of a conference of the Veterans League is an important, strategic and timely development.
When the movement under the leadership of Comrade OR averted crises and consolidated efforts to intensify the struggle, we convened in Morogoro and Kabwe, closed ranks and charted the path that led to the freedom of our people.
Let the envisaged National Consultative Conference help us deal with organizational matters that will help us consolidate our unity of purpose as the entire revolutionary alliance led by the ANC.
History beacons on us to march in unison as a united political army to deliver on a policy conference that guarantees certainty on the future of our country. We have the tools and previous decisions and resolutions of policy conferences, NGCs and elective conferences to guide us to a successful elective conference in December.
Let us take leaf from the volumes of lessons from the life of this unifier, thinker, strategist, his exemplary revolutionary morality, personal conduct, diplomat, pan Africanist, internationalist and above all an inspirational fighter for freedom which every cadre of our movement must aspire to be.
Long live the undying spirit of Comrade President Oliver Tambo!!! Long live the revolutionary alliance led by the ANC!!!
Happy 105th anniversary of ANC!!!
FORWARD WITH THE YEAR OF UNITY IN ACTION!!!
Cde. Welile Nhlapo was formerly South Africa’s ambassador to the US. A career diplomat, he was the ANC’s Chief Representative in Botswana and Head of the Political Section in the ANC Secretary-General’s office.