Lindiwe Sisulu: ANC needs to renew itself

Presidential candidate Lindiwe Sisulu says anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada died an angry man due to the state of affairs within the African National Congress.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Presidential candidate Lindiwe Sisulu says anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada died an angry man due to the state of affairs within the African National Congress (ANC) and that his death and subsequent funeral were a pivotal moment in the history of the party.

Sisulu gave the keynote speech at the Ahmed Kathrada annual fundraising banquet in Fordsburg on Sunday evening, highlighting among many challenges the need for the governing party to save itself.

An emotional Sisulu reflected on the life of Kathrada, saying that the ANC needs to renew itself and take forward the value systems of Kathrada.

“Something so great to undermine historic people’s resolve to protect one another and work for the betterment of many and not a few.”

Sisulu said she believed Kathrada died an angry man.

“Ahmed Kathrada could not be dismissed as ambitious when he expressed his honest views.”

Earlier this year, former President Kgalema Motlanthe received a standing ovation when he read out extracts of Kathrada’s open letter to President Jacob Zuma, asking him to step down.

'TOO LATE FOR ANC TO SELF-CORRECT?'

Sisulu says it’s deeply disturbing that people have been joining the ANC to be served and to accumulate wealth at the expense of the country.

The Human Settlement Minister says that comrades now kill for positions of power in the party and when allegations of corruption are brought against them.

She says that former ANC Youth League secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa died because he challenged corruption.

“The question that faces all of us in the ANC and as ANC members, as comrades, is whether it is too late to self-correct.”

Sisulu says that despite great strides made since 1994, the ANC needs to reinvent itself starting from its 54th national conference in December this year.

NO INTEREST IN LEADERSHIP BATTLES

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said it has no interest in being part of the leadership race of the ANC.

It said its mission is to host as many of the leaders of the ANC and other political movements over the next few years at its events.

The foundation said it doesn't have comment on Sisulu’s policy platforms in terms of her leadership race within the ANC but says her stance on non-racialism is in alignment with the foundation’s core work.

The foundations Neeshan Balton said: “The candidate must meet those standards spelt out in the Constitutional Court judgment on President Jacob Zuma’s case with the Public Protector.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)