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LIMPOPO NELSON MANDELA LECTURE, 10 JULY 2012

President Jacob Zuma delivers the Lecture

Departure for Vhembe
A colleague and I left Polokwane some two hours before midday to beat the scheduled midday deadline for accreditation. We were in good spirits and spoke in animated tones all the way to Thohoyandou in the Vhembe district of the Limpopo province.

There was no way we couldn’t be excited. This was the day President Jacob Zuma was to deliver the Centinnial Commemorative Lecture on Nelson Mandela. Only 4,000 places were available at the venue of the lecture, Worship House Church Centre in the Shayandima Township, Thohoyandou. My colleague and I fell among the luck 4,000 – hence our uncontrollable excitement.

The Media was equally excited, and had for almost a month hedged bets that President Jacob Zuma would not enter his no go area of Limpopo. The ANC Youth League in the province added fuel to these rumours of possible annarchy by hosting their expelled president Julius Malema and making beligerent statements against President Zuma.

Accreditation

On arrival in Thohoyandou, we reported to the Accreditation Centre for screening and issuance of the tags and the wristbands coloured to suit your category of guests. Without both the tag and the band entry to the venue of the lecture would be denied.

Security was tight at the centre too. Our accreditation as special guests went smoothly. Two hours remained before the lecture. We resorted to go for a bite before leaving for the lecture.

At The Venue

At the venue security was even tighter with the police, MK veterans and ANC Marshalls complementing one another to ensure that guests are safe and secure. There was lso a razor-wire belt around the church centre.

Thanks to our tags, arm-bands and early arrival, our entrance was with ease and without incident. We were ushered to prime seats not far from the exquisitely decorated stage. This gave me a good vantage point to take photographs as I had brought along a  to immortalise the day.
Confrontation

Over time the massive arena-like hall started to fill up as guests started to arrive. There was however concern that accreditation was slow and would see many still being processed when the lecture starts.

Whilst waiting for President Jacob Zuma and other leaders, the Church Choir and Band kept us entertained.

It was in the midst of the musical interludes that the ANC Youth League provincial secretary Jacob Lebogo walked in with his provincial chairperson Rudzani Ludere and Jossi Butane. They arrogantly made the rolling hands gesture of change in leadership. Lebogo was joined by Ludere and Bhutane in these provocative gestures. Their dance and song didn’t go very far as the Umkhonto-we-Sizwe Veterans Association (MKVA) were soon on them boots and all.

In this melee pepper spray was released, throwing everyone  within inhaling distance to cough and have itchy eyes.

Nelson Mandela Memorial Lecture

It was after an hour that the President of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa took to the podium to deliver a moving lecture that put the icon of the country’s struggle for freedom, Nelson Mandela, into the context of the struggle for liberation in the country and elsewhere in the world.

I was mightily enriched and motivated when I left the venue at the end of the lecture.

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Thabo Made Us Do It

September 7, 2009 2 comments
Former President Thabo Mbeki

Former President Thabo Mbeki

For the functionaries of the new regime under President Jacob Zuma, everything that goes wrong in the country gets blamed on former President Thabo Mbeki.

It all started with  Mbeki being written out of history by those who took control of the party machinery after the watershed ANC national conference held in 2007 in polokwane, Limpopo province.

After his election as President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma neglected to mention Mbeki in his acceptance speech. It was only at his inaugration as the fourth President of the Republic of South Africa that Zuma acknowldged and spoke in glowing terms of Mbeki.

In this address Zuma had the following to say about Mbeki:

“In June 1999, former President Thabo Mbeki came to this podium to take the oath of office, as the second President of the Republic. He took the country forward as true statesman.

“He made a remarkable contribution towards strengthening democracy, and laid a firm foundation for economic growth and development.

“He made our contry an integral part of the continent and worked tirelessly for an African rebirth. Through his leadership, South Africa`s stature grew in the continet and globally.

President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma

In his last address as Head of State in September last year, he demonstrated his patriotism, and put the interests of the country above his personal interests.

Thank you Zizi for demonstrating a charecter that the ANC had always embodied since 1912.”

Of late former President Mbeki has once more come under heavy attack from the organisation that he has served with unmatched distinction over many years.

The first salvo in recent times was fired by Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, who blamed the recent spate of service delivery riots on the past administration of Mbeki.

Then there was little Julius Malema himself. In his most recent public outburst, Malema said Mbeki had taught young people bad manners and should therefore be taken to court for having violated the rights of women.

The ANC has conveniently remained quite about these attacks like it did in the past. This is obviously a cause for real concern when an organisation such as the ANC can allow one of its own to be violated such as former President Mbeki has been.

Opposition Chart Wayfoward

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

The leadership of three of South Africa`s opposition parties is due to meet today in a further endevour to consolidate unity efforts ahead of  elections in 2011 (municipal) and 2014 (national and provincial).

Today`s meeting of the leadership of COPE, ID and UDM is a sequel to previous unity efforts by the opposition. Neither will this meeting be the last until unity is attained.

The clamour for unity among opposition parties comes after COPE`s entry into the political lanscape had shaken both the ANC and other opposition parties out of their comfort zones. As the result of the founding of COPE the ANC shed support in all but one province during the recent general elections. Opposition parties other than the DA were also not spared loss of support as they were reduced to the pale shadows of their former selves.

With no immediate prospects of an end to ANC political hegemony and arrogance, sobriety dawned on the opposition to make them realised that they had more in common than to can explore a common electoral platform.

As would have been expected ANC apologists and rented commentators heaped scorn on this untiy initiatives with some dismissing it as a constelation of lightweights which will never amount to a heavyweight in the mould of their ANC.

In a belaboured statement COSATU accused those who are for the unity of opposition parties as people who want:

” …to deregulate the labour market, repeal laws that workers from abuse by employers, and limit workers` rights. They want to make it easier to fire workers and do away with centralised bargaining, and push us  back  to the apartheid days when employers could do whatever  they wanted with their workers.”

This and other malicious distortions have been the stock responses to the challenge COPE offered to the ANC arrogance and intolerance. In the build up to the April 22 general elections thousands of rands were laid to waste by COSATU in the production and distribution of an anti-COPE propaganda booklet : Defend our Movement! Adavance the gains of Limpopo! Expose and Isolate the Black DA!

Such is the desperation of the DA and its fellow-travellers.

It is now up to the combined opposition to rise to the challenge of defending South Africa`s fledgeling democracy.

Categories: COPE, OPPOSITION Tags: , , , , , ,

Hello world!

July 22, 2009 2 comments

Hi I am Brave Heart  a blogger based in the South Africa of breath-taking events and developments. Thabo Mbeki Mbeki lost his bid to lead the African National Congress at the party`s 52nd national conference in 2007 thus paving the way for his recall as president of the country in 2008 –  a few months before the end of his second and last term in office.

The new ANC leadership had made it very clear from the word go that they wanted to remove Mbeki`s legacy, meaning politicians and administrators who had supported the former president had to be purged and replaced by members of Jacob Zuma`s fan club.

On the other hand a new political party, the Congress of the People was founded, by those disgruntled with the Jacob Zuma ANC. Since then elections have been held and the world`s worst nightmare has become real – Zuma is president of the Republic of South Africa!

All these trends and developments need to be recorded. This blog is my attempt at recording trends and developments in South Africa as they come to pass.

Comments and other inputs will be most welcome.