Departure of Andrew Mlangeni makes it more difficult to get the ANC to change - Essop Pahad

Late ANC stalwart Andrew Mlangeni.
Late ANC stalwart Andrew Mlangeni.

Veteran ANC MP Essop Pahad has lamented the death of Andrew Mlangeni, saying it is a big blow in the efforts to correct internal problems of the ruling party.

Pahad, a former minister in the presidency, told eNCA on Wednesday that Mlangeni was part of the veterans who were not in support of the path the ANC took post its Polokwane conference.

He said as veterans, together with Mlangeni, they felt the ANC was not dealing with the deep-seated problems it was facing.

He said, as veterans, they still hold the view that the ANC needs to address its internal problems in order to continue being the leader in government.

“The departure of comrades like Andrew Mlangeni who was the last surviving Rivonia trialist makes it much more difficult for us to work as hard as we can to get the ANC to change. The ANC’s change must come from within itself. It cannot come from the external side.

“That means when we talk about self-correction we’re talking about the fact that the ANC needs to take stock of what are the fundamental problems that confront us today inside the ANC and how do we manage to overcome those problems, because if we don’t, I’m afraid the ANC will begin to lose the tremendous support that it enjoys from the majority of our people,” Pahad said.

Mlangeni and Pahad were part of ANC veterans who called for the party to self-correct during former president Jacob Zuma’s leadership in 2016.

Meanwhile, independent photographic documenter Matthew Willman has also reflected on the time he spent with Mlangeni.

Willman took potraits of Mlangeni over two years.

“Even at that age, he stood up to greet me every time I got into the room. He was such a father figure…He would treat me as a long lost friend. He was so interested in my life. He was interested in the little things, where am I from, who's my father…he wanted to know more about me.

“He had so much knowledge. You would ask a question and he would think about it and answer you. What is amazing is that he and the late former president Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and the other former Rivonia trialists followed the same line. If you closed your eyes, it would be like the same person talking to you. They were so unified in how they saw the world,” Willman said.

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