ANC and government leaders who have lost public confidence must step aside to honour the values of former South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani.
This was said by Eastern Cape premier and ANC provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle at the Chris Hani Memorial Lecture in Cofimvaba yesterday.
Masualle, also a communist, said it was senseless for leaders to stay in power, even when they were sources of disunity in the country.
He said there was a need for leaders of today to be honest and trusted by the public, as was the case with the likes of Hani and the ANC’s longestserving president, Oliver Tambo.
“As leaders, we should serve our people selflessly without personal benefits for ourselves,” he said.
“We need leaders who will strengthen the ANC party of OR Tambo to protect and fight for the marginalised and majority of our people and restore its glory and dignity.
“If that cannot be the case, we must criticise each other internally and if it is agreed that someone must step aside they must oblige because this ANC belongs to no individual,” he said to loud cheers in a packed hall at the Cofimvaba High School.
“We need leaders who will unite the ANC and make it attractive and trusted by all and sundry.
“Those who are the cause of disunity must step aside so that the struggle of the likes of Chris Hani does not become in vain.”
Masualle said, although the Hani generation had successfully waged a fight with the apartheid regime and defeated it, the freedom was incomplete until the fall of capitalism. “The struggle continues,” he said. “We might have achieved political freedom in 1994 but we are yet to achieve economic freedom for the majority of the people of this country as the wealth still rests in the hands of the minority.”
The question though, Masualle said, was just how far was everyone willing to go despite persecution and ridicule in the fight for economic emancipation of the black majority.
Masualle believes many can learn from Hani’s militancy and determination.
He was referring to the The Hani Memorandum for which Hani and six others were expelled by the ANC national executive committee in 1969. They were later reinstated.
Hani’s outspoken comment against his own organisation should be encouraged, as long as it was done internally, Masualle said.