Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Today is the second day of the ANC Limpopo conference. The delegates are meeting under tight security from a large contingent of police officers, marshals and security guards.
This is an elective conference where delegates will choose the new provincial leadership. Those elected are also seen as standing a chance of becoming part of the new government after next year's election.
The build-up to the conference has been marred by in-fighting between factions that support the current chairman and premier Sello Moloto and provincial secretary Cassel Mathale.
There have been several instances in which members of rival factions were involved in fisticuffs.
Some of the candidates' supporters seem to have taken the dictum, "the knives are out and there will be blood on the floor", quite literally.
Of concern is the level to which some of the supporters have stooped.
An anonymous document, purportedly written by Mathale's supporters, is a case in point.
In the document the authors say it is now time for the Xitsonga- speaking members of the ANC to take the political reins in Limpopo. Mathale - whose supporters want him elected as the new chairman - is Xitsonga-speaking.
"This is one nation that should be given absolute chance to take decisions on behalf of all inferior tribes, especially the Pedi,'' says the document.
"For the coming provincial conference we have tried and tested patriotic sons of Soshangane (the late Tsonga king), who have demonstrated their unflinching commitment to the empowerment of our great nation.
"We do not have any doubt that as chairman and secretary they will catapult our nation to the ultimate position of power.
"Our own (Mbhazima Shilowa) was made premier of Gauteng after the dismal failure of a Pedi and an inferior Lobedu subject (Mathole Motshekga).
"The successes of Gauteng since then are immeasurable. This is proof to the world at large and all inferior tribes of the capability of the Tsonga nation."
The authors go on to describe the Pedi - especially those who support Moloto - as stupid and inefficient.
The Venda are described as kind, docile and spineless people who are always willing to cooperate "with a little bit of intimidation".
According to the authors a "war council" comprising cadres from the ANC, ANC Youth League, the SACP, and members of Umkhonto weSizwe Veterans Association (MKMVA), was formed to ensure victory for Tsonga leadership.
To all intents and purposes, this could be another "Browde Report" kind of document - authored by renegades bent on sowing divisions within the ANC.
What is of concern, however, is how people can actually use such tribalistic vitriol in the name of democracy and the revolution.
The authors of the document even have the temerity of calling themselves amavula'ndlela, the pioneers.
What kind of pioneer reverts to such banality of using tribalism to achieve political ends?
The struggle for liberation in this country included the fight against tribalism - which was one of the tools of subjugation the apartheid government used against the black majority.
We now have so-called revolutionaries using the very same tool in the name of defending the very democracy that the South African majority fought for.
What balderdash, as the Prince of Kwa Phinda Ngene would say.
Let's hope that the delegates at the conference will be able to rise above the atavism displayed by the authors of the despicable document.
The delegates should instead rise to the occasion and elect leaders who are real amavula'ndlela - who will lead Limpopo to prosperity.
We hope these will be leaders who are committed to defending the democracy that uTata Nelson Mandela, as well as other sons and daughters of this nation, have delivered.