Good morning to all of you comrades.
Comrades, from the onset let me record our shock and disappointment in the Concourt Judgement to release on parole Januz Waluz, the killer of our MK Commander, Comrade Chris Hani. That decision really pains us because the assassination of comrade Chris Hani was not an ordinary act of crime. It was timed to create civil war in our country and distract us from achieving the NDR objective of a democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, and prosperous South Africa. More than anything the assassination of comrade Chris Hani robbed our nation of a great leader of our revolution.
We understand without reservation the reaction of Sisi Limpho Hani, who must now live with the knowledge that the murderer of her husband would be freed. Our alliance partners the SACP and Cosatu are as equally incensed by the decision as we must now explain to the masses of our people how Waluz has been paroled. It is our right comrades to voice our disappointment with the decision of the judiciary, but that is not enough. The judiciary basis its decisions on the laws of the country and that is where we must exact influence to prevent paroles for people such as Januz Waluz. I think as the PEC we must explore applying to the Concourt to rescind its decision to parole Waluz.
Count Down to 55th National Conference
Comrades, I am joining this Special PEC from Matatiele. We are here together with Minister of Transport and Finance to launch major road infrastructure project to be implemented here in Alfred Nzo. This is our government intervention of about R3 billion investments to improve road infrastructure to unlock economic potential of this area. We are happy now that there is clarity on Mzimvubu catalytic project that indeed our government is implementing it in this term as we committed. All these major infrastructure projects will surely bring about economic boom in this poorest part of our country.
Comrades, we are 18 days away to the start of the ANC 55th National Conference which is eagerly awaited by branches of our movement and people of our country as it is their national political school to exchange ideas. We hold firm our position that the National Conference must first and foremost dedicate enough time to discuss policy matters thoroughly because it is ANC policies that would help improve the lives of our people. As we meet in Nasrec we must not be consumed by who should lead the ANC but by how we are going to address challenges such unemployment, poverty, underdevelopment, energy, crime, and service delivery. That is what must mainly occupy our minds at Nasrec. We must define where we want to go, how we want to get there and then choose the best leaders to take us there.
We believe we have done our homework in terms of preparing our branches delegates to participate meaningfully in policy discussions at the national conference and we have not doubt that our perspective on policy matters will emerge. We have seen comrades how the step aside resolution has been attacked leading up to the conference and that is based on individual interests than the renewal of the ANC.
We must be ready to defend that resolution of the 54th national conference because in the eyes of the voting public it means the ANC is serious about renewal when it holds members who are accused of serious crimes to account. Most ANC members think the 55th ANC National Conference will be watershed; I think that is a huge mistake. The 2024 national elections will be watershed for our country and movement. I believe branches delegates at the 55th National Conference will use their wisdom and give us a leadership outcome that would strengthen the ANC.
Comrades, a week ago the ANC Electoral Committee announced results of the nomination process. We are glad that our own branches have bought in to our leadership perspective. History and experience tell us that nominations are just nominations. Everything will be decided on voting day at the conference; therefore, we must not be alarmed by the results of the nomination process.
We have now until voting day at the conference to ensure that our leadership perspective emerges at the conference, and we must continue to engage other provinces to achieve our objective. Equally, we must listen to the perspectives of other provinces and not be arrogant as none of us are entitled to any leadership position. Conference is a platform for us to convince each other with superior arguments that will take the ANC to a higher trajectory.
All of us comrades must be highly concerned with limited nomination of women and less show of demographics in the results that were announced by the Electoral Committee. The ANC cannot be reversing or remain static on the issue of women representativity in the top six. So, as we lead branches of our province to the National Conference, we must reflect on women representation in the top six and find a way of engaging other provinces to make it a reality. The ANC must not come out of the 55th National Conference with one woman in the top six, that would be a reversal of our democratic gains.
Intense lobbying is now in full swing in the lead up to the conference and I urge all of us in this PEC to maintain calm and discipline during this time. I have accepted the nomination for the Deputy President position as per the guidance of this PEC and I am humbled for this nomination by branches of the ANC. We said this is not about us, it’s about interest of the province and the country. The lobbying process is about trade-offs, and it must always be treated within flexible bands and we must be prepared to be persuaded at all material times as long as people know we are not for sale. We must set a good example of maintaining organisational discipline for the Eastern Cape delegation. The delegation we are taking to the national conference must united and coherent to make our voice heard. That is the task of all of us in this PEC and I hope we will carry that task diligently until the last day of the national conference.
Cdes, PWC is bringing a report to this PEC meeting on the state of Amathole region and state of the REC itself. This is a report that has been thoroughly processed by PEC deployees, officials and PWC. PEC deployees interacted with REC and structures in Amathole about the state of the organisation in the region. Officials have done the same. This PEC must apply its mind and assist ANC to grow and move forward in that region.
Lastly cdes, let’s all go out to join government and civil society in fighting GBV/F. Let’s protect women, our children, and all vulnerable groups. This is the battle we cannot afford to loose. This war must not be just about 16 days campaign, rather be 365 days on going campaign.