Former Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool makes plea for nonracial SA

Former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool
Former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

“There is no equal treatment – there is racialism in this ANC. Look at the issue of support staff in the metro.

“When Dr Danny [Jordaan] left, who was deployed from the northern areas?

“People are sitting at home [not voting] because they do not see their own and that is a fact.”

These were the words of northern areas resident Florence Hermaans, who was responding to an address by former Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool.

Florence Hermaans
Florence Hermaans
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

He held a dialogue at the Gelvandale Community Hall as part of events organised by the ANC leading up to Nelson Mandela Day celebrations at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton on July 18.

Rasool centred his speech on seeking a nonracial nation and social cohesion.

Rasool said the ANC had been a nonracial organisation since 1969, at the height of high racial tension.

“Chief Luthuli was asked how do you see your vision for the future South Africa and he used the words ‘South Africa will be a home for all’.

“And he spoke with the clarity of a cadre of the ANC speaking the vision of the ANC and not indulging his own anger and hurt,” he said.

Rasool said this unity in diversity was also notable in the preamble of the constitution and values of the ANC.

He went on to give suggestions as to how the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay leadership could unify voters by reclaiming the unity that Nelson Mandela stood for.

“What is needed as a programme is nonracial building that has a feel-good factor to create peace and trust, and at the same time a redress factor where we deliver services in those areas so we can win them over.

“When it comes to conferences, important work leading up to them must be for building consensus and characters and personalities of the leadership we need to construct.

“Those leaders must look at racial, factional, gender and geographical mixes strategically.”

Rasool said that looking for leaders who were transformative instead of representational was more important.

He said these leaders were electable and had the capabilities for reconstructing the ANC from its foundations.

He also encouraged the ANC to run the nonracial discourses using nonracial imbizos like they had in the Western Cape.

“Every quarter we had imbizos – Africans and coloureds in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha were combined.”

“It’s important for coloured people to hear that African people also have problems like them – it is only through that where solidarity is built,” he said.

Agreeing with Rasool, former Bay mayor Ben Fihla said the idea of representation was important to win over voters.

Fihla made reference to the ANC winning a DA ward in Rosedale by using a wellknown candidate and one who represented that particular racial group.