The ANC NEC in the 8th January statement dedicated 2017 to Comrade Oliver Reginald Tambo.
The NEC said, “Comrade OR united the Movement by listening and engaging with the concerns of comrades, by staying true to the core values of the ANC and through displaying great integrity and discipline in serving his people” and quoted President Mandela, “He lived because his very being embodied love, an idea, a hope, an aspiration, a vision.”
The violence that we saw at the ANC’s Eastern Cape Conference has nothing to do with the historical core values and principles that Comrades Tambo, Mandela and those who fought apartheid and created our constitutional democracy consistently stood for. It does however reflect the deep crisis within the ANC and regrettably, includes those within the leadership of the ANC who have placed self-interest above that of our country and the high ethical standards that has been an integral part of the 105 years of the existence of the ANC.
As Stalwarts and Veterans of the ANC we condemn violence in all its forms within our young democracy. We believe we speak on behalf of the overwhelming majority within our Country and members of the ANC who are sickened by this needless violence, and intimidation that has become the norm for a small but significant number of people who believe their actions can be justified to achieve their own narrow interests. There can be no room in the ANC for those who believe violence is an acceptable form of political activity in our constitutional democracy.
Those who bring violence into the ANC bring shame upon our movement. They consistently undermine the idea of leaders being role models to the rest of society, especially our youth. Role models such as Tambo; Mandela, the other Rivonia Trialists; those who were also imprisoned for their principles; those who fought as members or supporters of uMkhonto we Sizwe; those who were exiled from the Country they loved; the members of the United Democratic Front; and those members of progressive organisations and NGO’s, whose selfless approach to their work was an integral part of uniting a majority of our country in their support for the ANC in the first democratic elections in 1994 and 1995.
At OR’s funeral Mandela said, “I say that Oliver Tambo has not died, because the ideals for which he sacrificed his life can never die”. Regrettably, there are those who wish to destroy these ideals.
The ANC cannot “self-correct” without appropriate interventions, otherwise it will relentlessly continue on a trajectory that will see it become increasingly irrelevant to the real aspirations of the citizens of our Country.
As stalwarts we have consistently argued that the most appropriate intervention at the moment is a successful National Consultative Conference that should be 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”
We will continue to work with the ANC leadership to ensure active, productive participation to ensure the success of the Conference. However, 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 National Consultative Conference can 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 Veterans