The day was 16 February 2018 at dusk, coming after a great deal of a ambivalence that had gripped our motherland as occasioned by persuasions and dissuasions within the ranks of the African National Congress (ANC) over the removal of disgraced former president Jacob Zuma.
That some within the ANC are still asking a silly question, “Wenzeni u Zuma?” (What has Zuma done wrong)?” in the midst of all the white collar crimes committed during his administration does not only defy logic, but exposes both nauseating sycophancy and shallow understanding of the principle of vicarious liability. It is even more distressing and divisive to see and hear ANC senior members and leaders breaking into a song, “Wenzeni u Zuma”. Really?
It was at twilight, amid a nation engulfed in ambivalence, when Comrade Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, the newly elected President of the ANC, ended his State of the Nation Address (SONA) as the fifth post-apartheid President of the country, by borrowing lyrics from the legendary song of our late iconic artist Hugh Masekela, Thuma Mina/send me, to rousing applause and a standing ovation. The Ka-Ndyalvan household, ooMpinga, Mawawa, Mbalakaqoshe… was not spared from this captivating moment and Ramaphoria.
My neighborhood, friends, colleagues and fellow comrades also confessed that they were not only glued on their televisions, but left with a renewed sense of hope.
The Matamela moment could not have come at a better time to send a strong message that the ANC still cares, the ANC of Nelson Mandela is alive and is not tolerant of counter-revolutionary tendencies such as corruption, as the demagogues and enemy agent-provocateurs would want the nation to believe. And Comrade Ramaphosa’s four months at Mahlamba Ndlopfu really proved his resolve to expose corruption and hold the perpetrators and lumpen bourgeoisie like Tom Moyane accountable, who, in their moment of oblivion and greed, would not have thought this day would come and really come down hard on them. This should send a strong message to all lumpen bourgeoisie, and their handlers alike, that sycophancy and betrayal of the masses are short-lived.
The nation holds you in the highest esteem, Mr President, and you have no luxury to fail.
Conversely, the ANC needs to provide unconditional support to the President of the country, its deployee to the highest office in the land, without any hangovers from the December 2017 ANC Nasrec elective conference. There is no luxury to sulk and blame the imaginary purging ghosts when the ANC holds corrupt elements within its ranks accountable.
Instead, we should understand that a “new dawn” with its bedrock of the “Thuma Mina” spirit is upon us, and take courage from the fact that this moment provides a window of opportunity for us not to be counted among the failed generation to achieve the National Democratic Revolution. To this end, Frantz Fanon’s words that “each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative opacity” are instructive.
Closer to home, we should be inspired by fallen heroes and heroines like Solomon Mahlangu, who, at a tender age, never failed the ANC and the country but died for the Struggle. His revolutionary resolve is encapsulated in his words, “My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the struggle” – this while facing the death sentence for challenging the apartheid system, a crime against humanity.
Mahlangu should be a potent source of courage for true revolutionaries in their mission to rediscover the ANC of Albert Luthuli, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, OR Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. After all, Solomon Mahlangu and casualties of the 1976 Soweto uprising, notably Mbuyisa Makhubo and Hector Pieterson, were inspired by stalwarts like Denis Goldberg, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki who left their cushy professions and backgrounds to join the liberation Struggle.
With that said and cognisant of the shenanigans of the past ANC administration under Zuma, at an altar of sickening crass materialism, opportunism, accumulation of wealth, celebrity mentality and revolutionary apathy, we need to remind ourselves that the above stalwarts brought colonial apartheid to its knees, with apologists and beneficiaries like Helen Zille and Kallie Kriel reminiscing about those dark days. Zille and Kriel represent apartheid in different shades. Zille is a political chameleon masquerading as “Nontsapho” in order to lure blacks to vote for the DA, and the less I say about the voyeuristic Kriel and his AfriForum, the better.
Now we have come to important issues to move the revolution forward. On 18 May 2018, the ANC, under the tutelage of Comrade Ramaphosa, launched the “Thuma Mina” campaign at Thembisa in Ekurhuleni to fast-track service delivery in order to cover lost revolutionary ground.
And I say it could not have come at a better time considering the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality facing the country. ANC Thus, the “Thuma mina” campaign should be embraced and viewed as the ANC’s revolutionary duty under Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, without any underhandedness of winning elections in 2019. All ANC members should lead the way, if we are to be recorded in a hall of impeccable revolutionary self-conviction. Thuma mina. DM