To survive, the ANC needs its veterans’ wisdom

The ANC has walked a long path. When Thabo Mbeki was born in 1942, the organisation had been in existence for 30 years, and when Kliptown hosted the Congress of the People gathering in Kliptown, Johannesburg, in 1955, and gave birth to the Freedom Charter, the glorious movement of the people was already 43 years old.

The year 1912, which is the year of the ANC’s birth, conjures up sad memories of the demise of the Titanic, the so-called unsinkable ocean liner that sank, taking with it 1 500 passengers.

But what is the point of this round-about way of reflecting about the ANC Veterans’ League conference taking place in Boksburg this weekend?

The ANC has played a crucial role in changing the political landscape of this country. It would be a great tragedy if the organisation went down the tubes – the way the Titanic sank .

This week, its elective conference must bring new outcomes as the ANC Veterans’ League elect their new leadership.

The veterans’ league, as the name suggests, should serve as a think-tank of the glorious movement, guide and cajole those who stray away from rejuvenation and renewal.

The ANC requires new life.

Nobody should wish away the ANC, and the election of new leadership this week should reflect a commitment geared towards renewing the organisation. The slates that began to heighten, especially during the 2007 Polokwane implosion, must be arrested. New life, steered by the veterans, should begin and help rid the organisation of factionalism.

The ANC must claw back the golden years – and this must be manifest by the election of a committed and sound leadership not informed by factionalism, but more by placing at the helm sound leaders to serve the interests of the electorate, and not of factions.

We trust the veterans’ conference will produce leadership we can see as the cream of the crop, faultless.

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