The African National Congress (ANC) must be able to criticise itself, says former Defence Minister Charles Nqakula.
Nqakula was speaking at the launch of his book, 'The People’s War: Reflections of an ANC cadre', at the Castle of Good Hope.
In a prepared video recording, he said it was very important that the ANC allows itself to be criticised.
He said that the ANC has always been an organisation that has allowed its members to criticise itself but in the end finds common ground to move forward from.
“That remains important today. Let’s allow people to raise their concerns so that we can deal with them and dispel the duties we are charged with,” he said.
Nqakula’s wife, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, was the guest speaker at the event.
She said that the book is largely owed to their late son, Chumani, who up until his death pushed his father to write a book.
“He wanted people to read and know who his father was,” she said. “I’m sure wherever he is, he is smiling.”
She recalled struggle stories and some of the trials and tribulations they went through as a couple.
“I get sad when nowadays people speak about some comrades with disdain when they don’t know what they had to do for us to be here today.
“I get sad when I see there’s a streak of racism even among us. People write books and they do not always tell the story of other, white compatriots who were there with us.”
Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke said in a video message that Nqakula’s book was an important contribution to the long oral history of the people.
“It is important for the next generations to shape their lives knowing the successes and indeed the failures of those who went ahead of them,” he said.
Nqakula paid special tribute to Judge Albie Sachs, who was in attendance, for his contribution to the ANC.
Also in attendance were several senior members of government, including Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete, Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu and Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa.