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READER LETTER | Struggle credentials not enough to lead new SA

Democracy demands different leadership skills

ANC flag. File photo.
ANC flag. File photo.
Image: Phillip Nothnagel

The ANC, as the ruling party, sometimes attaches more value to struggle contributions. They forget that the struggle was fought on several fronts, each contributing to bringing the apartheid regime to its knees and forcing it to the negotiating table.

Politicians should now be judged by what they have contributed to our democracy, and continue to do, as opposed to what they did before. This does not mean that we don’t value their contribution to the struggle.

But just because someone was involved in the struggle does not give him or her a free pass to do wrong in our democracy. Some, like Tony Yengeni, have been jailed, but there are many comrades who have been allowed to loot and plunder without being held to account.


Democracy requires different skills, which many of those who were involved in the struggle do not have. This includes the ability to lead and build society in an inclusive and  participatory manner, and upholding the values so clearly set out in our constitution. 

Those who continually remind people of their struggle credentials are trying hard to deflect their shortcomings by pointing to their struggle credentials and using the race card. 

Democracy means that all of us should have a voice, no matter how contrary our views might be!

If you are an ANC member or leader, you should listen to criticism and respond with reason, not with anger and a regurgitation of your struggle credentials.The late Archbishop Tutu used to say: “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.” 

Bushy Green, Kagiso

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