This press release has been prepared by the ANC stalwarts and veterans (the stalwarts) who are signatories to the document “For the Sake of our Future” (https://www.facebook.com/notes/anc-stalwarts-and-veterans/founding-document-for-the-sake-of-our-future-25th-october-2016/1234274736640332/).
The stalwarts include all of the remaining members of those imprisoned after the Rivonia Treason Trial. The late Comrade Kathrada was the first signatory of the document and we remain honoured by the continued presence and support of Comrades Denis Goldberg and Andrew Mlangeni.
As stalwarts, we have been and remain loyal members of the ANC for many decades. Our objective is to continue to serve all the people of South Africa and ensure the historical values and principles of the ANC are restored. As stalwarts, we feel a profound responsibility to the movement and the country, to ensure that the principles and values of the ANC are not destroyed.
We believe that the overwhelming majority of our citizens embrace the values of the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of our country.
We would like to believe that we speak on behalf of all members of the ANC who reject corruption; want to see the realization of our potential as a nation, and who are committed to the elimination of poverty and the unacceptably high levels of inequality.
Stalwarts plan National Consultative Conference
As stalwarts we remain committed to a successful National Consultative Conference held before the Elective Conference of the ANC in December 2017 – this National Consultative Conference is in keeping with our document “For the Sake of our Future”.
On the 1st of September, the Stalwarts sent out a press release stating the National Consultative Conference would be held in October 2017. After careful consideration, it has been decided to defer the start date until 17th November 2017.
The change of date is for a number of reasons:
• It allows more time for the ongoing and critical discussions on the National Consultative Conference, including the dialogue with the leadership of the ANC.
• The proposed National Conference of the ANC Veterans League should be held before the National Elective Conference in December 2017. The stalwarts have been motivating for this conference to ensure it is an effective structure serving the needs of those many comrades who selflessly served our country in the fight against apartheid and the development of a constitutional democracy. This conference is long outstanding as no national conference has been held since its initial launch in 2009. The ANC Veterans League is constitutionally recognised as an autonomous body within the overall structure of the ANC and is open to those who have 40 years of service to the movement and are 60 years of age.
• The efforts to ensure the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) Veterans Association is inclusive and representative of all those who served in uMkhonto we Sizwe and the internal structures of the country during the war against apartheid. are also finally bearing fruit. Whilst, the MK Veterans Association is not a formal constitutional structure of the ANC, it would greatly assist the process of confronting the crisis within the ANC if this unification took place before the National Elective Conference.
• The signatories (stalwarts) document “For the Sake of our Future” originally envisaged the holding of the National Consultative Conference before the National Elective Conference. It will allow the National Elective Conference to be informed by this conference and will contribute to confronting the crisis faced by our country and our movement.
The stalwarts have remained committed to the holding of a National Consultative Conference since we first made the recommendation in October of last year and we continue to work with the ANC leadership to ensure active, productive participation to ensure the success of the Conference.
As stalwarts, we cannot continue to endure the ongoing indecision and prevarication that have regrettably characterised much of the discussions around the National Consultative Conference. We know that there is a ground swell of support for this conference and therefore, we are progressing with its organisation.
The crisis is now at a tipping point, not only within the ANC but within the country. We are sitting on a powder keg that is waiting to explode because of the high levels of alienation of our communities from the institutions of governance.
The National Consultative Conference will potentially play an important part in helping to restore the legitimacy of the ANC, which was clearly seen in the support of our citizens during the struggle against apartheid; the introduction of our constitutional democracy and the first democratic elections.
The National Consultative Conference will also show that the overwhelming majority of past and present members of the ANC remain committed to the values, practices and the highest ethical standards which were recognised internationally as such and characterised our development as a political party.
Issued by ANC Stalwarts and Vetarans