Permit me to thank the outgoing ANC leadership as represented in its two term President Jacob G. Zuma, Deputy President Cyril M. Ramaphosa, Chairperson Baleka Mbete, Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize, Secretary General Gwede Mantashe, Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte and the NEC.
You as a team led during arguably the most difficult period of the organizational existence, you had to engage and navigate the complexities of an ANC in liberation movement formation struggling to be a party in democracy.
You had to show leadership to this broad church with its known and vetted contesting ideologies, expectations, aspirations and even opposing fundamental beliefs.
You certainly did an egg dance with the contesting interests of what defines an ANC in governance.
Despite the many challenges when you were personally insulted and castigated by the very interests you attempted to manage, you undoubtedly delivered many things during your tenure.
I have always held regardless to how fiercely we may disagree or be at variance with our leadership we must also defend them against others and ourselves and the rest of what could be veiled and open attacks that simply does not imbibe the values and principles of what this movement came into existence for.
You were made the scorn of attack and blamed for all that went wrong, seldom given the due respect by your own and those who led before.
You made like all leaderships before and certainly also after you, some blunders, you scored many own goals, but your overarching intent remained to keep the ANC together to the best of what was entrusted to you. To let the centre hold despite the reality of the demon of factionalism.
All power is borrowed and has an expiry date, you knew that before you accepted the call, you experienced it and some of you now will become ordinary again.
May you continue to serve in that ordinary, powerless sense convinced that unto you were entrusted a time, a period and epoch and such has now come to an end. Yet your contribution not.
Thank you for delivering the 54th Conference, we all know it was not easy.
Now what is left is to let history do what it was preordained to do from before time.
We remain prayerful and trust the Movement we believe defend and serve will in delicate and delegate sense make the right choices that will emancipate the masses of SA.
We may have contested and proved hard on those who raised their hands to avail themselves to lead beyond this period, know this for some of us this was not borne from any malicious intent but to ensure we get the best in leadership.
The elections contest is real and we all backed our candidates yet once the conference has pronounced we faithful cadres, voters and supporters of the ANC will submit and support and defend that new leadership no different to how we defended you and those before.
Now let history judge your actions, inactions choices and leadership in objectivity what is undeniable is you as a collective were entrusted to lead, and lead you did.
A humongous thank you to your families and closed ones who shared you with us for the last 10 and in some instances 5 years.
I pray all of you health and wisdom on the next stage of your life journey.
Again thank you for your accessibility to respond and meet with many of us in private setting. In this instance I wish to thank cadres Mantashe, Duarte and Zuma with whom I as ordinary citizen and member of the clergy was afforded many occasions to engage.
Truly, “There is a time for everything under the Sun” as Ecclesiastes 3:12 observes.
For some of you that time has come to part the scene, perhaps any attempt at overstaying your welcome may taint what you already have crafted as your legacy.
Cadre Zuma, you have shown leadership not to contest for another term you therefore afforded the 7 candidates to contest in an unencumbered space as evidence of ANC democracy in practice.
Return now to your families, write your memoirs and enjoy the African sunrise and sunsets in the comfort that you have made your contribution. We love you unconditionally.
Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine