AN ANC veterans’ leader warned yesterday against the party making unrealistic promises in its election manifesto.
Regional Veterans’ League chairman Douglas Tyutyu was speaking at the launch of four Alex Matikinca Veterans’ Cluster branches in Motherwell.
He told about 70 ANC and ANC Women’s League veterans that the branches would help the ANC in election canvassing.
“This is a very important year for the ANC because it is an election year.
“For a party, its manifesto is very important, but it is very dangerous if you just have a manifesto only for the elections because people are watching.
“You cannot say that by 2014 you will have eradicated the bucket system because we still have people using the bucket system today. Truth and falsehood are two sides of the same coin,” he said.
Tyutyu called for “a political commissar” to teach people about the ANC.
“[Former ANC deputy president] Kgalema Motlanthe was supposed to do that but I don’t know what happened. Let us build the ANC,” the former Robben Island prisoner said to applause.
President Jacob Zuma announced that Motlanthe would head the ANC’s political school after the ruling party’s elective conference in 2012.
At yesterday’s launch, political veteran Afrika Maqolo called on government to give equal status to all fallen anti-apartheid activists. “We cannot have beautiful graves for Oom Gov [Govan Mbeki] and Oom Ray [Raymond Mhlaba] as if they were the only ones in the struggle. When you visit the graves of fallen heroes in Mdantsane and Dimbaza, you would think they are graves of prisoners.
“We are veterans and not puppets of ANC branches. Old people are not taken care of. If the ANC wants 30 proportional representation (PR)councillors, 10 must be from here. Tata Tyutyu and others [as old people] must go and be sleepy [in council] if need be because there are benefits,” Maqolo said to laughter.
Cluster chairman Government Zini said: “People sacrificed their lives so we could be here today and assemble in peace.
“We must remember those comrades who committed themselves to the struggle so we could be free.”
Zini said it was hoped to launch four remaining veterans’ branches by the end of February.
In a message of support, Ward 23 ANC Veterans’ branch chairman David Ngxishe called for comrades to work for the party without expecting anything in return.
“We must work as a collective. Let us work for two-thirds majorities in our wards, so that we will have a ward councillor and two PR councillors so that everything will run smoothly.
“Parties like the EFF should not get anything. Let us work together without looking to gain anything in return because that is what we said when we joined the ANC.”