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Fikile Mbalula missed an opportunity to lead when addressing Sindiso Magaqa’s memorial

Rhulani Thembi Siweya is a Pan Africanist and writer. She is a member of the ANCYL NEC, founder of Africa Unmasked and an MBA student at MENCOSA. She is a former national treasurer of SASCO.

Comrade Fikile Mbalula used the platform of Magaqa's memorial to opportunistically make very damning factional comments in a bid to appease those he relates with at the expense of the good name of our fallen comrade. By doing so Mbalula failed Magaqa and betrayed the youth by failing to advance the course which Magaqa stood for.

Despite being a militant revolutionary, comrade Sindiso Magaqa was always restrained by the spirit of discipline and loyalty to the revolution. It would be fair to suggest that in his demise previous generations of the youth league would honour him for pursuing the cause of radical economic transformation in our lifetime.

I think comrade Fikile Mbalula has opportunistically made very damning factional comments in a bid to appease those he relates with at the expense of the good name of comrade Magaqa. Delivering his tribute during the memorial service, he has failed Magaqa and betrayed the youth by failing to advance the course for which Magaqa stood.

He wasted time addressing court issues rather than providing a lasting solution to challenges facing the youth. The ANC is the fountain for social change. In Fikile Mbalula I see a leader who ought to embody the hopes and aspirations of a profound spirit of discipline but his tribute delivered a different message.

It is quite sad and disheartening to see that it is only in death that comrades become darlings of their  fellow politicians. Nothing has ever hit my soul so hard than listening to Mbalula delivering his tribute at a memorial service of  Magaqa and distorting his convictions.

I have paid attention to a man speaking in such an amplified voice and borrowed confidence, making insinuations of comrades wanting to lead by hook or crook, including using courts and all its processes. I must submit that if the 2015 conference of the ANC had been conducted properly and all constitutional requirements satisfied, none of the court action would have been instituted, a fact he cannot deny. I guess Mbalula seems to have either forgotten or is playing ignorant to the realities of constitutional compliance when convening ANC conferences.

The most unfortunate thing is that comrades are missing an opportunity; we need to analyse and pay special attention to the root cause of the existing court process. The police ministry missed an opportunity to assure our society, particularly comrades in the KZN province, about their safety in light of the rise in political killings.

Instead of talking to the nation or taking us into his confidence about the investigation into political killings and how he intends ending some barbaric acts, he deliberately chose to launch an attack on ANC comrades who instituted a court bid to expose the shenanigans of the 2015 ANC provincial conference.

At the core of the problem is the fact that the ANC constitutional processes were undermined, trembled at and largely compromised to a point of extreme discomfort. The 2015 KwaZulu-Natal conference was convened under circumstances which undermined the rules rendering such a session null and void.

One would have expected of him to be mature and rise to the occasion in the case of a memorial service. Sadly, he went on a verbal riot, launching an attack on comrades as though we are not members of the very same ANC.

As former president of the ANCYL, Mbalula should have used the opportunity to speak more of Magaqa and his generation that represented the aspiration for economic transformation. A best tribute to Magaqa from a former president would have been to  address, among others, how the ANCYL should advance and fast-track a drive for total economic transformation which Magaqa stood for. Instead he missed the opportunity, choosing instead to waste time squabbling.

One would have thought he would spend time on how the generation of Magaqa defined their mission and then provide guidance to the already limping dysfunctional youth structures in the country; instead his focus was on how his associates should fight or appeal a court ruling. What a pity. DM

Rhulani Thembi Siweya is an NEC member of the ANCYL, a founder of Africa Unmasked and writes in her own capacity

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