ANC has proved it constantly refreshes, renews, responds
BRUTUS Malada has it wrong in his sarcastic swipe at the ANC - "ANC is old confused and senile" (Sowetan, January 12).
The ANC remains youthful, vibrant and full of future promise. Organisations that have the experience and record achieved by the ANC, usually go through challenges that test principle and resolve.
In its 100-year history, the ANC has faced many challenges and emerged invigorated and firmly committed to its historic mission of pursuing a united, democratic, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa.
It takes an enduring youthfulness, mixed with mature wisdom, to hone this ability to be relevant and ready to change when warranted by the character of struggle.
The formation of the ANC was not merely by "black elite, the learned and the clergy" as Malada claims. The event that took place in Bloemfontein in 1912 represented the culmination of months of preparation, consultation and door-to-door work.
The leaders who gathered in that church represented millions of men and women who wanted to see change in South Africa. They represented millions in the Protectorates who wanted an end to the yoke of colonialism.
Present too were religious leaders representing millions of believers who sought freedom and progressive traditional leaders who knew change had to come and a people's organisation was a necessary vehicle.
Malada believes the various phases that the ANC went through weakened her, gave her painful inflamed limbs and slowed her ability to accurately assess national conditions and develop new innovative responses.
On the contrary, the ANC has proved its ability to constantly refresh, renew, and respond.
The ANC is definitely not confused. We are aware that the struggle was not merely about achieving access to the vote.
We are aware that despite our success in responding to many of our socio-economic challenges, much more remains to be done.
We are aware that the levels of social and economic transformation we seek to achieve require many more years than our 17 years of democracy.
And we are committed to achieving the full socio-economic emancipation of all South Africans, not just the poor and vulnerable.
We are also honest in our acknowledgement of organisational challenges. Our history in playing a vibrant role in leading the liberation struggle stands as testimony to the fact that we will address these internal challenges.
We will continue in our unwavering commitment to be true representatives and servants of the people, invigorated, energised and refreshed by reaching the youthful age of 100.
We will also continue to fight ageism and refuse to consider 100 as a sign of confusion or senility.
- Naledi Pandor, MP, is a national executive committee member of the ANC