Mathata Tsedu’s one-sided contention on the one Speaker at ANC Centenary Celebrations !



– What indictment, What censorship? Why not a bold and decisive leadership decision on the part of the ANC? –

Tsedu in today’s City Press joins the chorus of those who feel it and indictment that the ANC as an organization has opted for this one time to one speaker that being the sitting ANC president of the movement instead of including all structures and alliance partners as speakers. The others will be accommodated in messages in booklet form.

He continues to postulate that it is precisely the fact that Malema won’t speak that shifts the attention on Malema more on Zuma. Tsedu uses terms such as “silence”, “indictment” and “censor of speakers”, to create the necessary attention to his views. I think these are typical catchy and media provocative terms that is aimed at giving proverbial “meat” to a tired argument of political gerrymandering.

This kind of thinking as advanced by a Tsedu and others warrants contextualisation in order to make sense of it for  it is paraded as gospel more than an opinion.

Firstly the critical aspect lost in this whole observation is the fact that the ANC as organisation, have structures though elected and sharing a level of autonomity who only exist because of its mother body. I’m saying that to say there is no Youth league or any structure if there is no ANC.

To therefore argue for an ANCYL identity devoid or in opposition of it’s mother body is to either misunderstand the youth league, women’s league and more recent veterans league structures as ANC structures who rightly have no identity in and of themselves if the mother body is non existent. To perpetuate this notion that the leagues are having a bona – fide identity devoid of being ANC is mendacious to say the least.

Secondly, to argue as Tsedu does that all other January 8, statements allowed for the leagues to speak as a standard is also not being cognizant that whilst this may have been a practice it is not a policy matter and to treat it as a policy matter to bolster a contention of “muzzling” or as he argues censoring on the part of ANC leadership is furthermore a stretched subject.

Thirdly, Tsedu argues that those who supported the ANC decision to have one speaker embodied as the president on this august occasion warrants condemnation. The challenge with this assumption on the part of Tsedu and others is the fact that they commit two errors, firstly their views are informed by speculation evidenced in assumption and also these views are predicated on the a fallacious argument of non- thinking leagues. This means according Tsedu and others the Women’s league and Veterans league are as small as being brainwashed by fear to allow for whoever in ANC to punish them for the sins of the ANCYL. This is flawed thinking and deserves rejection with contempt for the illustrious history of the ANC challenges this very now assumed notion. Let us not forget that the Women’s league have an elongated history to make unpopular decisions as viewed by some as in the case of Polokwane 2007 when they chose a man and that man is the current sitting president.

This stance whilst condemned by some for reasons known to them remains a moment of sheer celebrated leadership on the part of the women’s league, to therefore lump ANC structures as lacking backbone in decision making is sophistic to say the least.

In the fourth instance, the fact that the SACP leadership does not speak and again as Tsedu seems to in veiled sense argue that it’s leadership for accepting such kow-towed is again a misreading. Such misreading fails to be cognizant of the fact that this is an ANC event and to invoke a equal status of alliance stature to such as the only means of true centenary celebration of ANC is to confuse the role and alliance structures with ANC issues. Perhaps Tsedu must tell us why he necessarily reads the non speaking of SACP only from a one dimensional sense and not perhaps ask could it be that the SACP affords the ANC it’s alliance partner the right to celebrate the history of the ANC, when such celebration does not negate the fact that there is a functional alliance who is actively involved as partners in the realization of the National Democratic Revolution, yet the ANC remains the centre of such alliance as the 2010 political report of it’s president unequivocally argues.

I shall argue in the fifth instance that the same applies for COSATU and trade union movement role.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for me is what Mathata Tsedu and others hope for to see a Malema on the stage? One would be forgiven to assume that perhaps they desire a spoiled Centenary Celebration as they advance this polarization of organisational context manifested in ANC it’s structures and Alliance partners. In a sense it purports to be a fueling of tension in typical media desire embrace.

I think it is pragmatic and astute leadership of the ANC to make a decision regardless to the tradewinds of political conjecture in organizational context to make tough decisions and abide by such.

Such decision to have only the President speak is a bold, decisive and leading decision that again confirms that the ANC is not held immured by personality politics, it may prove silent but such silence is not to be misconstrued as muzzled but effective leadership in torrid times. Why this is misread as for an indictment defies the odds.

I do not even think the ANC chairperson should have as cited by a Tsedu stated the reason for one speaker on this prestigious occasion is due to the brevity of time and the length of the programme.

In my books the ANC needs not ever apologize for an ANC decision unpopular as these at times may appear for some.

In conclusion to deliberately define this decision as an anti- Malema is to misunderstand that the ANC is bigger than any personality. I am not even going to advance my opinion on whether a Malema is worthy of speaking on such an occasion for that is beside the point.

This is indeed a momentous occasion and to accommodate sideshows is not in the interest of the ANC and it’s illustrious history.

Respectfully submitted.

Bishop Clyde N. Ramalaine, independent observer, author of “Through the Prism of My Soul” and soon coming ” Tradewinds are Blowing”

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