– ANC centenary Flame: Acceptance speech at Greenpoint Kimberley, on behalf of Dad ! –

 – Celebrating the life and times of a  Community hero, struggle veteran –                                                                                       

It is indeed humbling and historic to stand this day here in Greenpoint with the political leadership of this area a Township in Kimberley where we as family spent approximately a decade of our lives.

All of my siblings were born in different towns and cities of South Africa, the direct result of the suppression and abuse of the apartheid evil system who vilified and chased my father and used all forms of systems to destroy his noble spirit.

This veteran of Freedom struggle was born in Sophiatown Johannesburg on March 1, 1933. His famous saying, beware the ides of March. He completed his high schooling at Livingstone High in Cape Town. He  later qualified from Hewat Teachers Training College as teacher and served  as principal. Though he was for short period raised in Hopetown the place his Father also a School Principal made his home, the apartheid system banished him to the far-flung areas. He would spend time as an educator amongst others in De-Aar (where he met the love of his life Mona Mercy Reed a teacher until the time of her retirement), Okiep, Lelie-Fontein – Namakwaland, Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape and Greenpoint. Out of this union of love embrace 6 children 5 boys and one daughter were born.

Yet of all the places my Father lived in, he was most comfortable in Greenpoint, though we as a family only lived here between 1968 – 1976 (8years) years. It is to the dusty un-tarred roads of Greenpoint that he would disappear after we left 1976. He would from time to time return to Greenpoint where he laboured endlessly and tirelessly making people aware of their rights and the need to fight against Apartheid. His professional teaching career saw him teach in Greenpoint, Windsorton, Holpan, Steelwater, and Namakwaland Holy Cross in Lusikisiki where he among others was principal and many other places.

Dad’s non-gratifying appetite and passion for  Law, would see him spend hours in court as listening to a variety of cases, this was his pet hobby, he at some given the command of 9 languages (something I regret not having, quietly blaming him for)  served as interpreter in the Magistrates court of Kimberley. Greenpoint remembers him for his tireless work as community member his passion the upliftment of this community.

In his early days, he was a fearsome striker and soccer player dubbed early on as Dr. Linc, for his profound intellect, natty attire, and capacity to logically argue anything. His command of the English language was unique and his acumen unparalleled. An erudite scholar with a razor sharp mind and an aptitude for law and history second to none. I shall never forget how in my first year of University of Western Cape, I landed up for an unknown reason in the office of the Rector, then Professor Dicky Van Der Ross, upon on enquiring on my last name he was pleasantly surprised to meet me and spend the next 10 minutes telling me about my dad, Dr. Benny Kies and those of that era who made up unique souls with a grasp on politics.  He was active in the Unity Movement, and took issue with the coloured brothers like the late Sonny Leon whom he openly accused of selling out.

Dad  Pappa for the older siblings, Dadda as we his youngest two sons  and Deh for my only sister who is the youngest called him, concluded his teaching career at Crystal High Hanover Park on the Cape Flats, as a History teacher. He passed on quietly after he was comatised on August 31, 2002 at Helen Joseph Hospital  in Johannesburg literally less than 2 kilometres from where he was born 69 years earlier.  One of the things my dad was known for, was his wit. On an ocassion Mom cornered him in asking him, Lincoln why did you not attend any of your children’s weddings, his response to her in vintage Lincoln mind ” Mona were they at my wedding”.

A soldier of note he never let it show that he was battling prostate cancer. Thus completing the full circle of this nomadic, meandering life and journey in which Greenpoint featured strongly.

He remains survived by one sister Grace Smith, his wife, and all his six children. I fear no contradiction that if he was alive today he would have taken issue that the roads of Greenpoint in democracy remain un-tarred.

It was at 236 Makolane Street, now 23 Makolane Street, where I as his youngest then sat in the lap of the late ‘Prof’ Robert Sobukwe (as mom recall) as they would converse on a variety of issues constituting the way forward for  South Africa’s and the African’s.  It was at the same house where the late Bra Aggrey Klaaste of the Sowetan, would share with my dad pensive reflections on writing, since he published regularly in the DFA. It will become our mission as part of his soon to be launched Foundation to source all the many articles he penned and were captured in the Diamond Fields Advertiser.

My dad or as he forever will be known OOM BOY, would defiantly play at top volume on the grammaphone ‘Remake the World, too many people are suffering…, a banned song at the time. When the police would rock up to arrest him, he would engage in deep debate often swaying the very police who would leave our home without arresting him. The apartheid system brutalised him and our family as he lament on ocassion to me, ” Son,  I had wanted to leave for London in 1960 when all my friends left, tired of the haunting, sick of the terror, but your Mom did not want too, and I understand, but my life spiralled out of control after that”. As a family we had on several ocassions returned to Greenpoint to fetch him, when he was ill, he had options where to live, Johannesburg or Cape Town, yet he preferred when he was healthy again to return to Greenpoint. We the younger ones did not share a close bond but Mom, never allowed us not see him as dad. As a matter of fact every June 27 Mom & Dad’s anniversary we all have to call her and wish her well, because she would not be to happy if any of us forgot it. The man was an institution, I always say,  I had been priveleged to sit at many great professors feet, I equally now in my own life engage many more of the same ilk, yet none stands in the shadow of Bra Linc’.

He was Greenpoint’s lawyer, Greenpoint’s ‘Mayor’; long before it had a councillor. He would help people get their grants, identity documents, marriage certificates and register their children’s births often in the end paid with a ‘dop’. We at some stage felt he loved Greenpoint more than us his children. He would write in the DFA and raise the consciousness of abuse and injustice that Greenpoint residents suffer.  The love affair he had with Greenpoint never stopped, he is accredited for having led the delegation to have the first Premier of the Northern Cape Manne Dipico’s matrimonial negotiations.

Dad’s attests to that of a man who knew or  had no half- measures, he knew only to be sold out to his convictions.

Today we stand here receiving this Centenary Flame fully conscious of the uniqueness of this moment, we know we will never have another chance ever again in history to witness this occasion.

Our sincere gratitude is herewith expressed to the ANC Leadership at National, Provincial, and all levels and in particular at the local Greenpoint Level for having found it fit to honour the memory of our dad with naming this branch after him. Thank you for stopping in Greenpoint with this the Centenary Flame.

My brother Nathan Baldwin (one of the original founders of POPCRU) and I, hereby receive this Flame of Hope on behalf of our entire family with a deep sense of appreciation, humbled in trepidation and blessed beyond measure that my dad, had left for us and Greenpoint this uncontested and huge legacy.  Consciously aware of the greatness of this moment, the uniqueness of it in time place and space. Bra Linc, was never rich in the material, but he was wealthy in community service.  If I am in any sense today finding myself though based in Gauteng active in the rural hinterlands of the Northern Cape to assist the process of normalising schooling for the Olifantshoek and Kuruman communities it is perhaps out of the same cup that Oom Boy  drank.

We equally  pledge to uphold this legacy in as much as we can. We solemnly declare our unwavering support for this 100-Year-old Unparalleled Movement, Africa’s Oldest Movement, pledging our part to play in whichever way and manner it finds fit us to deploy.

Halala ANC , Halala  Greenpoint, Halala OOM  Boy, Bra Bigs,  TJ 10, may your spirit live on, in all of us….Forward with the fight against Unemployment, Inequality and Poverty…. Long Live Oom Boy Long Live the ANC.

 

Bishop Clyde N.S. Ramalaine

September 25, 2012

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AFM-SA 2012 Elections : Humbled pie, I don’t think so maybe cornish pie?

So the AFM- SA elections came and is now history, prior to this event a week ago some of us advanced our views on what the outcome of the elections may produce

For my part I shared my opinion from two angles the least of my focus was my speculation on the actual outcome, I guess the one lost written comment I received failed to appreciate the challenge I raise beyond who is elected.

I committed to eat humbled pie if my analysis were proven wrong and half-baked; hence, it is only correct to do the honourable thing.

Let us therefore now assess. I said Dr. Burger the incumbent would be re-elected as president. Yet it is perhaps important to pause and ask what constituencies delivered the results for Dr Burger. There is no question that Burger’s election was carried to larger extend by the combination of the ‘white’ and ‘Coloured’ votes. One is not arguing that some ‘African’ voters did not also prefer him though these constitute a small group. I am happy to report I was right on this one.

Deputy President, Dr. La Poorta was officially elected. Yet this election perhaps proves unprecedented in experience when the election process was abruptly stopped when Dr. Chikane withdrew midstream. Chikane’s withdrawal almost presented a constitutional challenge when seeing to it that the elections continued the next day with one person on the ballot.

I was wrong for speculating that Chikane will win La Poorta yet it is important to note that Chikane at the time of his withdrawal was in the lead.

I dare speculate and ask why Chikane really withdrew; I may  not have  facts at hand but will advance a view in asking a pertinent question.

Is it possible that prior to this elective conference a possible deal was on the table proffered by Dr. la Poorta, in which he approached Chikane to offer the ‘coloured vote’ for Chikane as president if Chikane could deliver the African vote for a La Poorta Deputy presidency? Could it be that a similar deal was cut with Burger? Could it be that Chikane proved honourable to withdraw because he had the presence of mind to honour what he agreed with La Poorta at a potential NLF gathering?

I would imagine Pastor Herbert will now understand that the envisaged contest between Chikane and La Poorta squaring off for the deputy presidency as predicted in my poor analysis, which he found off the wall perhaps with egg on his face.

For had Chikane not withdrawn I dare assert La Poorta would not have been deputy president. We may never know the truth of Chikane’s withdrawal from the deputy president race, yet we will always wonder if 1996 did not repeat it again in 2012.

Treasurer position, Pastor Petersen was elected by a slight margin, as anticipated. The fact that the African candidate Pastor Tamage, who also ran in the previous election was pipped by such narrow margin 53-47% suggests at another level the fact I predicted that the African constituency will come to the 2012 elective conference with their own candidates for all major positions of president, deputy president, treasurer and General secretary, tells us the levels of mistrust in the previous Composite division.

General Secretary Position, Pastor Mahlobo won by the biggest margin over 80%. I was wrong to have argued that he would not make it. Yet my analysis was premised on the outcome of the deputy presidency, which clearly ended abruptly with Chikane’s withdrawal from the deputy presidency race. The race could have gone different if Chikane did not withdraw.

So I eat pie for where I was wrong but it’s not humbled pie, yet it’s not a cold cornish pie but a very hot pie because my hypothesis on a deal offered to Chikane which led to his withdrawal remains a variable to factor in the 3 positions of deputy president, treasurer and general secretary.

In the end, the elections were concluded and I am sure those aware left thinking this one communicates a multi-faceted.

I shall conclude with the saying ‘even among thieves there is honour’ yet less among clergy. In the end what remains a now indisputable fact is that the unity of the AFM- SA remain a very fragile one that only time and hour will show. Fragile for many reasons since the very previous composite division is now as divided and split along clear racial lines.

I wrote this piece because I have promised to eat humble pie if my so called called ‘cold  coffee analysis’ according to  Pastor Trevor Herbert who failed to read and was quick to respond was proven wrong.

Regards.

CNSR

What does the silence of Top 6 & NEC members communicate when the ANC President is insulted?

– Who is really insulted, the president or the Movement?   When self-interest rules! –

I find the silence of some in the top 6 leadership and the NEC rather annoying, cheap, and factionalised to pronounce on everything but not to defend the Centenary President of the ANC, J. G. Zuma.

Some have gone out of their way to prove oppositional from pure ambitious and self-interest reasons.

The deputy president and treasurer of the ANC have yet to tell Julius Malema he has no right to insult the democratically elected President of the ANC and SA in this centenary year in this fashion.

This lack of defence of the President is less a lack of defence of the president but the Movement. The silence of those who claim to love this movement is noted. It is folly to think a rebuke of Julius means naturally an agreement to a second term of the president.

I have and will always contend that there is no reason to allow this vilification of any  sitting president only because you hope to benefit from his threatened removal. Please do not raise it is right because it happened before, that is such a shallow argument for it being wrong remains wrong in history even now.

It appears the friends of Malema in the top 6 and NEC, is more concerned about a political agenda than healing the organisation. It appears that they like those who do not know want to blame the president for the ANC crises or challenge. If the ANC is in crises, today it has to be levelled at all in the NEC and particularly the Top 6. Many of these NEC members belong to the million dollar high mile club, money accrued from the very apartheid economy

Every day in SA when this expelled former ANCYL president speaks it is in insult of the president yet Motlanthe and Phosa or any so called diligent ANC NEC member is yet to pronounce and tell Malema he dare not insult the ANC.

The sickness of tolerating this uncouth behaviour and proving silent on this resonates in this that we have NEC members who believe it is their God given right to benefit and they cannot be rebuked.

Today we see the same faces in a campaign again; Siphiwe Nyanda leads his own pack still mad because he was relieved of his duties as minister of communications, and acts as if he controls the military history of the ANC. Nyanda is quick to remind us that the MK veterans do not belong to Zuma as a private army, which is correct yet it also does not belong to no general including Nyanda.

Is it not time we ask has the ANC fallen in such shallowness of personality rhetoric that nothing matters than to support a campaign to dethrone Zuma at a “Promised Mangaung of Revenge”

Leadership demands that we prove prudent as to how we allow the values of what the ANC stands for to rule us even our ambitions.

I dare assert, perhaps JZ has come to the table at the most difficult time in post-apartheid sense and many refuse to see his leadership and chooses to disregard him for myopic reasons less of substance but informed by sentiment.

I find the silence when the movement is under attack by an expelled youth leader deplorable.

I find the silence when the ANC president is under fire of cheap insults from a egoistic weak mind of Malema equally repugnant, I find the silence of some for cheap personal interest disgusting, for they yet must show their hands and defend this ANC and its presence, unless they sit behind Malema’s campaign and claims.

Malema can boldly say “I will be back when Zuma is gone” because he is truly controlling even those who claim to be in the ANC for decades. Never before in the history of this movement has anyone found it his birthright to insult to the pander of media embrace an ANC president the way Malema has ordained himself a right. I can accept that as an expelled member mixed with youthfulness he will react the way he does, but the silence of ANC leaders in this season is excruciating to say the least.

If these think Malema is correct, let them wait for in their season of power they too will deal with their own.

The silence of some, one must surmise is a direct allegiance to self and a campaign to fight to have JZ removed as a so-called escape of complicity to the state of the ANC.

I doubt the commitment some ANC NEC members and top 6 leadership have towards the ANC. For Phosa to argue no one is guaranteed a second term is not objective nor proving leadership instead it’s to play on the idea that the president is not guaranteed a second term, it’s less about all as is portrayed. We see through the shallow rhetoric of these pronouncements and understand them for what they really are meant.

Our leaders refuse to defend the ANC and fuel this destruction of the movement in cheap factionalism. Motlanthe cannot afford to say Malema you are wrong because his path to power is a sponsored one from the very people and claim constituency of Malema backers.

I guess Malema will force him to bring him back after he made him, and later will say I regret I ever nominated Motlanthe, when Motlanthe in interest of the ANC will act and upset the Malema campaign.

The proverbial Titanic is in trouble and yet there are those who prove silent for selfish reasons, they act as if they are not to blame for the ANC trouble and like uninformed people outside the ANC believe a removal of JZ ( which will not happen) will fix all things.

I hope they live to see the error of their ways and the scales fall from their eyes to see their personal investment in the destruction of the ANC.

A defence of the president against this malicious attacks is a defence of the movement who elected him like all others before democratically. A non-defence of the ANC it is president and its leadership is an investment into disrespected leadership for the future.

There is an old saying that goes “those who sin with you can sin against you.” Hopefully sense prevail and the blessedness of having Malema not in the ANC will one day be credited to astute leadership in torrid times.

Clyde N. S Ramalaine
…The Road to ‘a Promised Mangaung of Revenge’
due in November 2012

Do those who claim him the paragon of virtue not bastardize the true legacy of Biko?

Could Biko not perhaps prove irrelevant for us today, regardless to how unromantic that may sound?

There are many in this season of Biko’s Celebration who seeks to arrogate a right to invoke Steven Bantu Biko as maximum symbol of what is wrong in our society. These have unilaterally determined what Biko would have had as an opinion and usually in the trapped state of their minds rush to conclude how he would have castigated this leadership.

I hold no one has a right to make Biko or Hani, Sobukwe or any fallen hero a Saint that would have had such rebuke as equated by those who claim to know these our heroes.  These fallen heroes and cadres never claimed or appropriated a ‘Sainthood’ of mistaken  sinfreeness, but their lives at different stations show their humaneness in all virtuous, bad, ugly and irresponsible shades.  In the case of Biko,  we may never know the agony of his true legal and legitimate wife, who is less visible though a champion of our collective course, who afforded our hero, the celebrated ‘father’ of modern-day South African Black Consciousness’ space to ride the waves until he met his untimely bludgeoned death. For the record none of those we often emotionally invoke ever ran a country, hence to draw a comparison is disenginious.

No one can objectively claim to know what Biko would have thought, said, and surmised. Regardless to how well these claim to have known him, be that in love affair or comradeship of Black Consciousness.

These now pontificate to us their acrostic ideals and parade them as the definitive views of a Biko. Biko remains a hero of this nation, a son of this soil, an independent mind, and one whom we all were denied to have with us.

Biko died and was less afforded to be physically present in this epoch. His ‘Black Unit’ remains the subject of much question, debate, and speculation. His hypothesis of a ‘black’ identity was for a specific season and time, perhaps like Black Consciousness was for a season, an important period though in our collective cognitive development and crafting of an elusive identity, the same we today found is not static, but often the confluence of experiences, events, exposure, preferences, economic definitions, class pseudo phenomenon’s, etc.

I find this disjointed reasoning to invoke Biko on our moral consciousness in an unwarranted form of bequeathed Sainthood deplorable if not at times repugnant in origin and less selfless in pursuit.

Biko was an ordinary African with an extraordinary resolve in a season when that was needed exemplified in a “black consciousness” the same some of us have argued is perhaps the proverbial ‘blackhole’ of our past, the horror of present and potential  nightmare of our collective future. For I still contend, we were subjugated to a ‘black experience’ by those who believed they were ‘white’ and wanted us all to believe they are. My challenge why did we allow that which we were subjected to define us in eternity of embrace? Equally if we are today facing the scourge of HIV/AIDS are we to surmised that at some future in our wrestle with this invisible enemy we will become the scourge for it would have consumed us and defined our new identity? I hold colonialism and apartheid were ‘black experiences’ that the African mind never can celebrate either consciously or unconsciously or reactionary, in retaliation of psychology. We cannot defend this blackness for it did not come from us, we cannot redress it for any attempt at redressing is an implicit acceptance that those who called subjected us to a ‘black experience’ were right.

Is it possible that the beloved Black Consciousness, and its subset Black Theology fundamentally even unconsciously computed an error when it appropriated and became that which it was defined by and subjected to and sought to defend in newness of psychology. Lest we forget Basil Moore is really the father of Black Theology in South Africa embrace.

This appropriation of the construct of ‘black’ to define and describe a people has sent us into the proverbial wilderness in which we cirle the same dunes and now even in democracy is held hostage by why we have chosen to define every aspect of our society through this untrusted arbitrary construct of ‘black’ .

Today we talk of  ‘black’ business, exactly what is ‘black’ business in this global economy? Why should there be a ‘black’ lawyers association, a ‘black’ chartered accountants association, a ‘black’ builders association, a ‘black’ plumbers association, the ‘black’ prostitutes association when we run this country for almost 20 years now as majority? Just when did Africans who never left these shores become ‘black’? If apartheid succeeded it has us today define ourselves and lives in ‘black’ when the opposite of ‘black’ is not defined as ‘white’ description. What did the progenitors and benefactors of apartheid so well understood to prove prudent not to label  their entities, structures, societies, lobby groups etc not with the adjective of ‘white’?

Biko’s “Black Consciousness” which in case developed in exchange with the American counterparts no different to Stokeley Carmichael’s “Black Power” were not new in origin of defining the concept of “black”,  but proved an attempt at defining ‘consciousness’ and ‘power’ respectively. Neither defined ‘black’ for ‘black’ was already defined by one who had a specific mind on such. Carmichael in 1969 at Berkeley, at the birth of the ‘Black Power” movement did not define ‘black’, but power, because ‘black’ was already constructed I am afraid not by those who call see themselves as ‘black’.

The construct of ‘black’ to define a person did not originate from those who so eagerly sing its praise. These unconsciously appropriated the construct of “black” as a given, and did not engage the multiplicity of ramifications of such appropriation. Any appropriation and acceptance of the construct of black naturally necessitates the existence of a “white” identity of existence. So that when one charts the murky road of defending a “black” identity, you inadvertently defend the right of a white identity. It is a slippery slide; it is very possible that Black Conciousness was killed because it could not define this “black” in black consciousness. These are necessarily relational terms and live in sanguine unity in the circumference of such tainted umwelt.

What if some today claim Biko was wrong? What if others argue he is perhaps irrelevant for this time and cannot be superimposed as a constructive reality immanent in leadership morality meridian? Especially when by means of evolutionary thought we in democratic dispensation have sought to define ourselves free from the shackles of a wrongly  even embellished “black and white” constructs. These constructs ubiquitous in nature, in which my son at UJ who does not know and maybe should not know this warped definition of identity has crossed the lines of these “black and white” proverbial farcical picket fences. And  has found an identity in which he shares the same music, appreciation, clothing preference, values, ethic  constituting his identity rooted in a humanity less coloured by a “black’ or ‘white’ tainted paradigms.

In which he found communality of persuasion less by his father’s influence who is a victim of apartheid, but has found fellow humans in which colour as a means to define another, proves vacuous odd and irrelevant.

What would Biko say to my son, who has crossed all those boundaries and less out of rebellion but as a natural progression of a found humanity?

Biko’s biggest contribution for my son is the fact that he was willing to die for an idea, perhaps that is where it ends and should end, and anything more is sacrilegious and an overstatement of truth.

Those who write regardless to how intimate they were with Biko and those who read his “I Write what I like” often misinterpret Biko and must quit invoking Biko on us, but tell us this is what they say in the name of our collective and dead hero.

Alas, I hold we are afforded a time to live in this earth, in which we must prove relevant for that epoch and future generations must understand our net worth or legacy contribution through the lens of such historical path. When we die, it is because our time was up, our purpose fulfilled and hence we in a sense become irrelevant for an evolving society. The same in which technology has made us family with others we less know hardly have seen yet share such strong communality that may even be argued as stronger than what we would have shared with our own. If our ‘own’ is defined in myopic “black and white” constructs of enslaved paradigms.

Please afford Steven Bantu Biko, Martin Thembisile Hani, Oliver Reginald Tambo and many others rest for  their work is done. Equally,  their relevance is historical and often an elusive mirage or a proverbial stray bullet from an unloaded gun exemplified in someone who less understood them,  or is caught up in the presence of mind to prove astuteness of  bastardised intellectualism. These mislead themselves and equally attempt to mislead us  to know more about Biko often revealing an opaque grasp of Biko better than all of us who equally read him, Fanon, Mills and others. Some pseudo- new Black Consciousness propagators or as they claim  ‘Bikoists’ like Andile Mngxitama, refuse to engage constructively and prefer to rather vulgarise the issues on the subject matter of Biko, Black Consciousness and its relevance in this era. In my understanding these prove an embarrasment to the true legacy of our common hero.

Biko must be contextualised as a son of his time who would have perhaps proven irrelevant for many reason today in this epoch.

In typical African traditional and cultual sense can we let the dead be respected and not resuscitated for less honourable reasons. As for me I am an African, my Africanness is not trapped in a surname, tribe or looks. I am an African, I am just not ‘black’ and will never appropriate this construct to define myself, because if I choose to be ‘black’ I must accept the lie of a ‘white’ identity, the same I resist for I am human and anything more is a sophism.

Bishop Clyde N. S.Ramalaine

 September 18, 2012

Courtesy of “Tradewinds are blowing’ Political musings and contemplations

What will the AFM-SA 2012 Elective Conference really bring if anything at all?

–          Can we now agree the unity project is a failed one? – An Outsiders analysis

This week brings another elective conference in AFM-SA context, to be precise the 5thinclusive the original unity of 1996. Tuesday, September 18, 2012 is earmarked, as the day of elections for the top leadership of the AFM-SA, off course this is not the first elections since ‘unity’ as established in the 1996 Unity Project. There were elective conferences before the last 2008. It is my unsolicited view that this elective conference proves historic because it will confirm the unity project as failed and doomed exercise either in birth or in a make belief of short-changed hope of confusion.

Perhaps there will be those who may consider my either or as an unnecessary overt and harsh critique, yet though such may be the case the reality is the ‘unity’ of the AFM- SA remains a subject of much debate. Perhaps it is time to first ask from where the ‘unity’ project?

This question will definitely have many answers and depending who you speak t when and where it may be also a subject of personal legacy and glory claim for others. There is no doubt that the unity of the AFM-SA 16 years later left more questions than answers. The truth is the leadership of 1996 except for a few musical chairs have remained the same, leaving some to conclude in the AFM once you are elected to high office it is set for life. Before we deal with the implications if not ramifications for this elective conference in the broader context of what this UNITY really means, it is only proper to advance my speculative outcomes of the elections.

Presidential Elections / Candidate(s)

There is little doubt that Dr. Isak Burger, the incumbent president will be re-elected as president of the AFM-SA, making him the official president of the AFM-SA in post-apartheid context. I have in a previous analysis between the comparisons between the AFM-SA and ANC advanced that though Burger had wanted to resign and step aside, the fragile unity in the AFM-SA 16 years later will demand of him to avail himself. This availing has little to do with a strategic necessary from a visionary input, it has less to do with the fact that the church is on a solid footing and transformative in engendering an agreed path of vision and mission dictum. It has more if not mostly to do with the aspect of perceptive hegemony. It appears that the ‘white’ counterparts in the United Church have placed this as a subliminal demand in an offensive of ‘it is either you stay or we go’ because the powerful and economically empowered networks need not beg anyone. I advanced back then that Dr. Burger will be compelled to avail himself  and the raison detre for his availing will have a solitary cornerstone, namely the church’s unity.

Burger, will certainly beat any potential contender easily, because the unity it could be argued confirms dogmatic lines we less want to admit. It is not far-fetched to argue the former composite division of the church comprising back then of your ‘African, Coloured and Indian’ church assemblies, has yet to prove it trust its own in voting for a president from the vantage point of sheer numbers. The consistent electing of President Burger says more of how disunited and less trusted black contenders are for the very black constituencies formerly defined along those apartheid based racial classification lines. In 1996, at the time of the historic opportunity of AFM-SA unification, the church back then regardless to the clear black majority failed to elect a Dr. Frank Chikane. Since that, time it has never been able to elect a black president and now has an entrenched history in which across all racial platforms Burger is an endorsed candidate for presidency not anymore on racial lines but as the only hope for the church.  Not taking anything away from Burger, it is clear he has made his mark and has established himself not as a ‘white’ endorsed president but the preferred choice from a cross-section of members across the racial divide.

It must therefore equally attest to his ability he had to win the hearts of those who normally would have been assumed to be held immured by racial divides evident in choice. Burger’s perpetual elections victories tells us something else at another level, it could communicate the willingness of black constituency to rise above racial tendencies and entrust one from another classification to lead. Yet it glaringly conveys a subliminal message that the ‘white’ counterparts in the AFM – SA have not shown that willingness, and have remain trapped in their block voting of entrusted ‘white’ candidacy.

From the start of the unity, the interest for the ‘white’ cohort  was and has consistently remained  two office bearer positions  of  ‘President and Treasurer’. It is therefore no coincidence that for the greater part of the post unity process these two positions remained in the hands and control of whites, though the last election of Treasurership had its own jolts and twists ultimately seeing Pastor Trevor Herbert becoming the first ‘black ‘ treasurer of the AFM – SA.

Yet whilst he became and held that position until is unfortunate sanctioning, it must also be noted that the elected Former Treasurer Pieter De Witt, was kept on as consultant effectively running the books of the church, rendering Herbert in a name  the treasurer only.

Vice President Election/ Candidates

On the vice president elections for 2012, I shall advance that, the incumbent  Dr. Japie J. La Poorta, will have a contested race, I fear no contradiction in speculating that the African cohort will advance a candidate and my assumption is the current international president Frank Chikane, who may also contest for President against Burger, but will fail. The contest for Vice President will end with Dr, Chikane being preferred to La Poorta. This will not necessarily be a bloody affair, but will have an impact on the remaining two offices of General Secretary and Treasurer. It is my assessment that a La Poorta loss will impact the potential outcome of the Treasurer Position widely tipped as a foregone conclusion with Pastor Barend Pietersen as front-runner given  the history of 2008 elections in which h really won it but gave it away in preference of Pastor Herbert.  I will revert back to the treasurer position when I look at it by itself. Yet the vice president of the Church will be Chikane  and not La Poorta.

General Secretary  who may square off?

The General Secretary, position held from 1996 by Pastor George Mahlobo, is also an open race, open because though a  number of contenders may emerge, in my assessment the real competition will come from the looser of the Vice President contest. I shall advance that  one should not be surprised if  Pastor Mahlobo finds himself in a race with Pastor J.J. La Poorta, which will see him beaten by  La Poorta, yet I am not sure if La Poorta has the heart, passion or hunger for the general secretary position, although there is not much to be chosen in remuneration between these office bearers save for a R100 here or there.  The ever media shy Mahlobo in my assessment will be offloaded because the ‘white’ constituency will see La Poorta through.

Though it cannot  also be discounted that the African section of the former ‘composite division’ may decide field candidates in all positions up for elections as their demonstration of tiredness of being sold out, yet that is a rare possibility by all standards.

National Treasurer Position, who may square off?

As I alluded to earlier, Pastor Barend Pietersen, remains the front-runner for this position, yet it’s not a foregone conclusion, since the outfall of the Vice-President race could negatively impact Pietersen’s candidacy. Pietersen may  portend to be less interested, but stay in the circumference of power is crucial if a future candidacy for president is in the subconscious wrongly or rightly.

Yet Pietersen is also carrying the can as last man standing for  representing the often too radical face of the church. Notwithstanding the fact that he is well established in the business world, the attraction of power to sit in the seat of glory as perhaps first black president in 2016 , when most of the musical chairs contenders would all be too old to contest, proves wise if one stays around the power and pretend that it does not concern one. It is a wise political and tactical move if he avail himself for Treasurer position.

Yet he will have competition for the ‘white’ counterparts will nominate a strong candidate, whose identity remains sealed until the moment of truth. Also besides the definite ‘white’ counterpart candidacy, it could well be that should La Poorta suffer defeat against Mahlobo for the General Secretary position that he may throw his hat in the race, and he certainly will have some white support to carry him to dislocate Pietersen.

Hence, my assertion that Pietersen cannot afford to be lulled by an assumed 2008 preference to be in 2012 in natural pound seat, I do not think him that unwise.  In the end, I think he will make though in close shave to pip his contender(s), because the old composite will carry him though for diverse reasons. His stability in the secular world communicates different messages all of positive nature for a diverse constituency whom it can be claimed trusts him enough to see him elected.

Let my now turn to the possible ramifications of the recurring elections dating back from 1996 to 2012. It is perhaps right to argue what are the lessons this elections and all previous ones communicate for the ‘unity project’ as an either success or failed project.

  • The unity of the church proves farcical because it is today best understood in the candidacy of Dr. Burger, for if he does not stand the unity is threatened.  A unity defined in personality is precarious in praxis, challenging in defence and suspect in longevity. If the unity of any entity is intrinsically and directly linked to the availability of an individual, we must have reached a rugged course.
  • The challenge for the church unity future resonates in the undeniable and indisputable fact that the United Church has failed to bleed to new leadership, and will go down in history as having lacked foresight exemplified in new leaders birthing or what is called succession planning. Hence, the AFM-SA in post-apartheid context leadership remains a plausible what I choose to dub a ‘Musical Chairs – Leadership’ in which the same names remained the contenders.
  • This election similar to all before undeniably confirms the lack of confidence  the former composite church – division has in collectively trusting one of its own to lead as president. Is apartheid successful in the AFM-SA of post – apartheid context?
  • It also communicates the story of South Africa of post-apartheid making, in which ‘blacks’ remain the demanded underwriters of a unity of lop-sided definition in which they must bring the proverbial ‘bacon’ to the meal when ‘whites’ still heckle about giving proverbial egg for the breakfast.
  • It confirms that whites or the formerly known ‘single division’ still vote along strong racial tones and ideological paradigms, less informed by openness of mind but by closeness of fear borne from a threat of discomfort. Less tested but subscribed to in an almost biblical faithfulness of construct and design.
  • The Church’s unity is a failed project because the unity of national organisation has left a disjointed dishevelled and ambivalent church at regional and all other levels. It appears that the unity was a hashed job which less proved concerned about casting a vision, but remained caught in the euphoria of a ‘unity’ which never was practically and in real sense understood. It appears it is a unity less explained and equally not methodologically engaged. The unity proves less sensitive to a very long history of faith in praxis for those who loved this church regardless of ideological and political persuasion.
  • The modalities for this unity remains ubiquitous (seemingly everywhere but really nowhere), for it is perhaps time to count how much was really lost, because of this unity. I am now dealing at assembly and regional context; often the vibrancy of the AFM prior to unification was measured in the cross-pollination of interactions of regions and districts exemplified in a family of unity evident in Eisteddfods, Conferences, and Youth Programmes etc.
  • The Unity of the Church, failed to seize the moment the new President of RSA Jacob Zuma presented the church, when he unequivocally made his conscious choice for the Pentecostal Churches to lead this epoch in being the face of Religious definition. I still hold it was an excellent opportunity the AFM- SA the oldest Pentecostal Church founded in 1908 failed to seize and remains elusive.  I trust the president’s polygamous and traditional persuasions did not serve as the barrier for those in the AFM – SA embrace.We may argue the many reasons for such truculence on the part of the AFM-SA to step up, though we may speculate comfortably that some in the higher echelons of power in the AFM-SA made a conscious decision to prove the opposite of this Polokwane Democratically elected ANC leadership. Is it possible that the church failed to seize this opportunity if not Kairos because the church proved to have a soft belly when it should not have allowed itself to be held immured by potentially one or two voices, who equally may be trapped in their own political historical cocoons. 
  •  The unity of the church is a failed project because those who worked for this unity, represented a’ claimed think tank of the church’, who often excluded all, led by testosterone caucus of Western Cape ‘Coloured’ definition. It is perhaps time to admit that the unity of the church was less the desire of the people, but the brainchild of those who appropriated and arrogated a power unto themselves to believe they represented the church and can influence any decision due to their afforded visibility. These equally now are willing to admit the Unity project failed, though we have to wait for them to publish their thesis for such success or failure.
  • The unity of the church failed because the church allowed politics to dictate the unity, manifested in caucuses where six people, from the very strong Western Cape lobby group would gather to determine what the church leadership in ‘coloured’ sense an ultimately national sense should look like.
  • The church unity has failed because it has failed to prove sensitive 16 years into unity to embrace the unity of the Church with women elected into the top leadership. The church therefore notwithstanding the fact of ordaining women clergy have remained stuck in seeing this escalated to embrace such women leadership in the higher echelons of power. The Church remains a male dominated, leadership team, insensitive to the …. In Christ, there is no Greek, Jew, male, female… declaration.
  • The church unity in recorded history of opinion has failed for outside of two pieces written one an analysis in comparison to the ANC, documented by the author of this piece who is an outsider, nothing else is available. The other adumbrated history of unity was written by a ‘white’ researcher.The architects of this ‘unity’ is yet to take us all into their confidence to pen the context of the unity, the paradigms of its  complex political influences, the trade-offs done behind those who knew, the political agendas, the ego-tripping some, the fights engaged in, and the mistakes made. The unity is therefore no-where captured as lived through experience by and told by those who claimed to have united the church.  We hear from time to time the threats of ‘I will have to find the time and write’ but this remain opaque and empty of realising, perhaps because some realise that it is more than daunting a task to capture and defend this ‘unity’ in origin as that which was the desire of all in the AFM-SA.  We can only hope that when it is penned it will not be a biased insider opinion, wrapped in I was there when this was discussed and that was resolved, proving vacuous of content and defensive of the glaring mistakes committed by some who proved over eager and arrogated a right to decide above others.
  • The unity failed because the church today in Theological educational context proves an insult for not having its own curricula. We can write volumes on what the current systems mean and who decided on such.  A Church that is over 100 years old must have its own Christian Education of strong Theological premised curricula at all levels. In 2012, the AFM-SA notwithstanding the great minds in the church lacks this and this must attest to the failure of the unity Project.
  • The Unity of the church failed because though the unity of 1996 at national level afforded regions 2 years to work out the intricacies and dynamics of such unity or parity of unity, there was an unnecessary rush to get Regions to be in line with the national unity project.To corroborate my assertion, I shall flag what happened and can be substantiated in fact, that literally two weeks after the unification we had as Gauteng Central had a meeting in one of the Northern Suburbs, Churches. Upon entering the building, I found the newly elected president occupying the chairperson seat. I raised this as an objection on a point of clarity before the meeting started. My question was directly aimed at Dr. Burger, I asked him to what honour do we have him in our meeting – he shrugged his shoulders and quipped clearly dishevelled, Pastor Ramalaine, you must ask the organisers of the meeting. To which I formally requested Dr. Burger to leave the venue and allow us to engage, it became clear that day was set as an elections for the Gauteng Central. Sensing this, we forced the stopping of the elections and opted for a later date preferred for Meadowlands AFM, led by the late stalwart Holesome Mthembu. On the day of the elections, whites were bussed in many out of retirement, on kierie support. The elections delivered a victory for Pastor Vincent Barnes, who in stark glaring of us watching gripped his cellphone and ran out shouting in Afrikaans ‘ons het hom’ . This was for me the second shock of his ‘unity’ project, which for me clearly is led orchestrated by the claimed Spirit but the result of man’s definitive political interventions passed as the work of God.  This proverbial final straw broke the camel’s back and saw me leaving in 1997 the AFM-SA.This incident led me to conclude how many other regions were caught so off-guard into regional unity when it was to be afforded time to practicalise.
  • The unity of the church failed because it was preceded by the South African political unity of freedom. Perhaps this is significant for it can be argued justifiably that the AFM- SA unity is less natural but was a coerced united predated by the redefining of the political landscape. We must find out if the consciousness of unity mind prevailed at heart or opportunity level. Could it be that this may have compromised the very ‘unity’ rendering it perhaps eternally shackled in an ambiguity of origin?

 

In conclusion, it must be noted, it is very interesting that neither, Pastors Chikane, La Poorta, Mahlobo or Pietersen or any former ‘Composite Division’ candidate can claim an outright collective support by their previous constituencies in hegemony of vote, such as is the case of Pastor Burger.

 In the case of the former ones mentioned, they are all subject to a certain tangible level of mistrust, for a variety of reasons at least from their own, and are often forced to square-off against each other to the loss of the collective group.

Whilst they may remonstrate and counter this assertion as the evidence that the unity worked, they must contend with the fact and truth that the white counter parts have not shown similar confidence in them as previously from the ‘composite division’.  If the unity is a unity it underwritten by the composite division, is it possible that it was the leaders of composite division who wanted this ‘unity’ more than anyone and therefore forced it through without considering the lasting in effect ramifications of this ‘unity’.

It remains a mystery the confidence levels Pastor Burger has among the previously defined ‘composite division’ when no black leader shares that confidence from the ‘previously defined Single Division – white constituency’.

Hence the elections of 2012, says nothing except for the perpetual ‘musical chairs of leadership’ in which the new norm is to get so one can almost Dos Santosise or Mugabeise (Dos Santos is Africa’s longest serving president) your seat forever. The 2012 elective conference says nothing about the visionary direction of the church; it proves a mirage of promised changes less by context but defined in personalities. It equally presents the Old- Boys club of tiredness, where new blood remains nowhere visible.  The elections of 2012 may prove a convenience issue and then a principle matter.

Then again, what do I know, as an outsider? Yet we shall watch the outcomes and I will be the first to admit my analysis or speculation on the elections outcomes were wrong. Yet concerning the ‘unity’ project being a failed initiative I am more adamant to defend my views with anyone.  I can cite more reasons why it is a failed initiative but will leave that for a later opportunity when those who claimed to have delivered this ‘unity’ afford us access to the prism of their thinking that we may engage equally and perhaps substantially.  For in the absence of these penning, we are robbed of the history we equally have a right to know and engage.

Respectfully submitted,

Bishop Clyde N. S Ramalaine

Independent Analyst

This article appears, “Scrambled Eggs & Hash Browns – The AFM – SA unity Saga”

 Due January 31st 2013

September 16, 2012

Has any other Religious persuasion shaped the ANC more than the Christian Faith?

–         If I am a true Christian I should be able to identify with the ANC for many reasons  –

Is there perhaps only one party who truthfully can claim it is fundamentally Christian in origin, design, outlook, and praxis? Does the ANC claim its rightful Christian history? Maybe stating the obvious is at times necessary.

Listening to the legacy tribute lecture rendered by the incumbent president of the ANC and SA on perhaps one of the greatest sons the Southland has produced namely Chief Albert Luthuli the 6th President of the ANC, led me to our subject of discourse.

It is not a secret that from its founding, from its inception, the Christian Faith proved present and perhaps the connecting point and proverbial glue for the leaders of this organisation. The debate as to what the ANC in its origin was has been dealt with, for its correct to argue the ANC was from its inception born from the enclave of the intelligentsia, those who gathered as its initial leadership represented this progressive middle class, educated and respected vocational elite of the time.

Among these, perhaps the most visible were the Leaders who either shared a faith tradition of Christian definition. This Christian Faith thread meanders and courses throughout the 100 years of its existence, manifesting at different times in different epochs with a distinct presence of the very Christian dictum.

It is this consistent and indisputable golden thread that a friend Rev. Hendrik van Wyk in the Northern Cape in our conversation of our topic chooses to refer to as the “the umbilical cord of the ANC that runs through the Altar / Pulpit of the Christian Faith”. I find this expression of Van Wyk particularly befitting since it seeks to suggests the ANC was in the womb  connected and fed by the very Christian Faith often misunderstood and vilified by some with a lack or grasp of the role and significance of this Faith tradition assumed and played.

I fear no contradiction to argue that no other Faith not even what is claimed as a generic ancient African Faith holds such paramount place if the ANC’s leadership, central raison d’etre, its symbols, its mission and missio-dei serves as the barometer for such analysis.

The Premise for my assertion in corroboration emanates from the following:

Firstly, the essence and critical reason for the ANC’s formation is captured as The ANC was formed on 8 January 1912 by John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Sol Plaatje along with chiefs, people’s representatives, and church organizations, and other prominent individuals to bring all Africans together as one people to defend their rights and freedoms, the ANC from its inception represented both traditional and modern elements, from tribal chiefs to church and community bodies and educated black professionals, though women were only admitted as affiliate members from 1931 and as full members in 1943’.

The ANC was formed at Waaihoek Methodist Church in Bloemfontein. Thus, the birthing of the ANC was necessitated by a conviction of an inalienable equality of humanity and being that is directly drawn from the fundamental truth of the Christian Faith ensemble in creatorial record. Not only in creatorial record but also with the fundamental reason for the coming of Jesus Christ into the earth. Commissioned by a Love that God had an expressed for a cosmos as captured in the text of all text, “for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that no man should perish but have eternal life” John 3: 16

This presupposed and accepted undeniable creatorial and inalienable equality of a humanity presupposed the God of the Christian Faith as the God of Creation, combined with the Salvific Plan of Redemption communicates an equality not with man as its origin but The God man subscribe or believe in.

The Redemption Plan in which man necessarily identified as bereft of colour, creed, race, or economic status, as the object of His love and the Subject of his Redemption, contends an equality for which Africans gather to organize against those who seek to contaminate the originality of this creatorial and redemptive equality of humanity. These proved arrogant to question the very equality preferring to claim a right over others only and purely informed by an incarcerated mind of androgynous falsehood of superiority.

Secondly, the very direct and influential place of the Christian Faith is not only manifesting in the cornerstone of its inception the organising of African people to defend their rights of an equality  but also in its first and perpetual ANC leadership profession claim.

The ANC leaders celebrated in this centenary year contains a crop of priest both ordained and lay. Luthuli, the traditional chief, scholar, and lay priest was a devout Christian following in a long line of J. Xuma, John L. Dube, and S. Makgatho, who were all qualified and ordained priests in their respective churches who equally share a Christian Faith tradition.

In order to develop my argument on this Christian Tradition I shall use at least three things that President General Albert Luthuli is credited for having said at different stages of his leadership.

Luthuli in later years a Nobel Peace lauerette, whilst not an ordained priest best summarizes the conviction of his faith and persuasion if not challenge of freedom, when he made his now famous statement “it is inevitable that in working for freedom some individuals and some families must take the lead and suffer: The Road to Freedom is via the Cross”.

When Luthuli speaks of the signpost of freedom being the Cross-, he does not refer to a cross in a generic sense but borrows immensely from the shaped conviction of the Christian Message of the centrality of the Cross-of suffering, yes the cross of Jesus Christ the Son of God, the head of salvation of all humanity.

Luthuli gives us another glimpse into this strong  Christian influence when he asserts “my only painful concern at times is that of the welfare of my family but I try even in this regard, in a spirit of trust and surrender to God’s will as I see it, to say: God will provide’.

Luthuli is also quoted as follow, ‘I also, as a Christian and patriot, could not look on while systematic attempts were made, almost in every department of life, to debase the God-factor in Man or to set a limit beyond which the human being in his black form might not strive to serve his Creator to the best of his ability. To remain neutral in a situation where the laws of the land virtually criticised God for having created men of colour was the sort of thing I could not, as a Christian, tolerate.”

The prism of Luthuli’s mind on emancipation freedom and liberation is directly drawn from his deep and unapologetic Christian convictions. For him the Christian prism of God is not a remote possibility but a active complete construct that has chosen to be on the side of those who are oppressed, diminished, and debased by a claim of others in superiority. Luthuli finds it challenging not to respond from such conviction of Christian bedrock as justified a necessary defence of the humanity of all celebrated in an equality of creation.

Thirdly, we see the presence of this Christian Faith and tradition permeating through the critical symbols of the organisation.

One such symbol, which stands in the shadow of its own, is the ANC’s National Anthem. The Anthem ‘ Nkosi sikelela ‘ which has become anthem of a number of African countries among others Zimbabwe, also constitutes the bigger part of our Post – Apartheid democratic nationhood anthem.

This anthem written by Enoch Sontonga is not just a pure celebration of humanity exemplified in hope but an earnest direct prayer in submission of God, God understood in the Christian Faith as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This anthem clearly speaks of the relationship of a people with its God, a desire to surrender to their complete dependence on God. It is a prayer dedicated to the Christian God.

If the ANC in 100 years of distinct stages of a collective freedom struggle for the African found it necessary to elect leaders from the Church, of the Christian Faith, was this accidental or intentional. If indeed it was accidental, why the perpetual precedent? If the argument for a deliberate choice is advanced, why the firm persuasion in such Faith?

Unpacking the golden thread of Christian Faith’s influence in ANC history throughout the trajectory of its Century long past cannot support the claimed accidental notion, for it argues against the natural history of its founding.

Arguing on the other hand for a deliberate intent notion to elect Christian Leaders proves also weak, perhaps we can argue, as some of us who believe in a Divinity would hold that the Christian God had personally intervened, from inception in the unfolding history of the ANC.

There is perhaps a logical explanation for the occurrence and reoccurrence as simply explicable in a view that it was common for Africans to ascend and prefer the Christian Priests. Yet this cannot be used as a true argument for  from its inception the ANC leaders that founded the South African Native National Council (SANNC) in 1912 which became in 1913 the ANC included jurists, medical practitioners etc. Yet even these subscribed in many instances to the very Christian Faith tradition herewith argued as the golden thread of its visible existence.

In the fourth, instance it is worth noting an interesting  observation that all  twelve Presidents of the ANC professed and subscribed to a Christian Faith Tradition, even when the very  Christian Faith was used in State Theology mode as a means to defend the indefensible evil and elegit Apartheid system. These ANC Leaders we  celebrate today  all confessed a Christian Faith mostly with the expressed Methodist face.

Not only does this Christian Faith meanders and courses throughout as the lifeblood of the past and present of the ANC, but equally the dichotomies of its challenges especially in gender role definition confirms this umbilical connectedness of an organisation and its unequivocal Christian Faith persuasion. It is noteworthy that though the ANC subscribes to the principle of an equality of humanity, it has always struggled to give meaning to such in the gender question as it relates to its top leadership and particular its president.

The emancipation of women is an remains an intrinsic and cardinal aspect of its cause of liberation yet the shackles of the Christian Faith in praxis holds it ransom in manifestation of this dream of a gender equality less in articulation but praxis. For in all of its 100 years of history it is yet to have its first Woman for president, notwithstanding the noises made, the truth is the ANC has not yet elected a woman president.

Perhaps the answer for thus conundrum is best understood in the historical traditional leadership exemplified in men as that which define the canvas of the African mind. Yet I shall argue the traditional claim is possibly not a single claim but hides another component the dilemma of Christian Praxis in which Church leadership has remained male.

Could it be that the challenge of the Christian faith on gender parity is visible or reflecting in the ANC the very organization I claim is fundamentally a Christian Organisation? Even those who today seek to judge the ANC do so out of the conviction of this Christian premise and ethic. Equally, those who seek to deny this Christian claim in a farcical claim of parity of other faiths in ANC embrace have misunderstood this mosaic history of Christian Faith influence.

Does the ANC not rob itself in proving shy to claim its rightful Christian history? Maybe stating the obvious is at times not an overstatement. Yet I hold the ANC is the only true Christian Party who rightfully can claim that space in uncontested sense.

The majority of South Africans subscribe, by choice, to this Christian Faith persuasion, if the recent CENSUS statistics is used as the assessment tool. Is there a causal link in these statistics and the fact that he ANC remains the most preferred political party entrusted by most to deliver the dream of total freedom manifested in unemployment, inequality, and poverty?

One thing is certain the claim of the African Christian Democratic Party  (ACDP) of being the Christian party is not without contestation  perhaps  even standing naked if the true history of Christian claim is the standard, for no party accept one can claim this Christian Faith claim equal to the African National Congress.

Hence as a devout Christian I have consistently voted for this party and will continue to vote for it, for my faith permits me to identify with those who share its claim, and I have identified this often less expressed claim, and equally less celebrated rightful claim.

In conclusion, it is argued that even those who today rightfully and wrongfully criticised the ANC for having strayed from its fundamentals, do so primarily informed by this conviction less of human premises but a morality traced in an ancient faith of Christian dictum.

Hence there is today in South Africa one party, whose name does not include no reference to its Faith, yet has lived the principles of this Christian Faith persuasion in blessedness and equal challenge, and is perhaps held hostage by this very Faith Tradition, which others claim but less have lived.

Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine

Independent Analyst

This Article Appears Courtesy of : ‘Tradewinds are Blowing’- an Anthology of Contemporary Political Musings  – Due November 30, 2012

This article is dedicated to Rev. Hendrik Van Wyk, (current serving MRM Provincial Coordinator in the Northern Cape Provincial Government) and all clergy who in the cause of serving found themselves castigated for associating with the ANC by some who never took the time to research the symbiotic relationship between the Christian Faith and the African National Congress.