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TRIBUTE TO ANDREW MOKETE MLANGENI (1925-2020) 
2019-07-26

This statement was released on behalf of the Stalwarts and Veterans of the ANC, on the eve of the official ANC commemorations and the memorial service for Andrew Mlangeni. It is followed by an interview that Andrew Mlangeni gave in 2016 in which he slated the ANC over Jacob Zuma:


24th July 2020.

Dear Cde Febe

We write with great urgency to express our consternation regarding the programme of the African National Congress to memorialise Isithwalandwe Comrade Andrew Mlangeni.

We have noted that Cde Jacob Zuma will headline this programme at 17.00 today and make so bold as to warn of the unsuitability of choosing him to fulfil this important role. We do so mindful of Cde Zuma’s constitutionally improper conduct during his tenure as President of the ANC, as well as of the raft of very serious charges of corruption for which he is to stand trial, not to mention his alleged enabling role in state capture, which is a central concern of the State Capture Enquiry presided over by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. These matters stand in direct contradiction to the moral and revolutionary integrity embodied by Cde Mlangeni.

Moreover, Cde Mlangeni was most forthright in his condemnation of Cde Zuma’s behaviour, going so far as to say that, despite having spent ten years with Cde Zuma on Robben Island, should he be found guilty of the offences levelled against him, Cde Zuma should be returned to that gaol to serve his sentence. These were not idle words, but a damning indictment. Consequently, we are perplexed by the very idea that Cde Zuma was selected to conduct this sombre and profound homage to the last of the Rivonia triallists and custodian of the finest values of our proud movement.

In the light of these matters, we consider it wholly inappropriate to have Cde Jacob Zuma leading the memorial of Cde Andrew Mlangeni. The irony of giving this solemn honour to someone whose behaviour was so trenchantly criticised by Bab’ Mlangeni does not escape us, nor will it escape the members and supporters of the ANC, the country as a whole and the world at large. To sully the memory of Cde Mlangeni in such a cynical manner is distasteful and unbecoming of the African National Congress.

We, therefore, respectfully but strenuously urge you to review and rescind your decision and to propose a memorial programme befitting of the prestige and memory of one of the great leaders of our liberation. Anything short of this will not enjoy the support of the Stalwarts and Veterans of the ANC, nor, we believe, of the ANC Veterans League and the broader membership. Indeed, in the event that this request is ignored, we reserve the right to distance ourselves from the programme in favour of one that properly honours Cde Mlangeni’s great legacy.

We also wish to make known that since the programme was released there has been similar distress on social media by many organisations and individuals

Yours faithfully

Fazel Randera

On behalf of the Stalwarts and Veterans of the ANC

Ps We also attach a interview that Cde Mlangeni gave in 2016 which we feel is relevant to the issue at hand-

 

Mlangeni slates ANC over Zuma

By Lebogang Seale  Oct 24, 2016

JOHANNESBURG: Andrew Mlangeni has accused President Jacob Zuma of killing the South African economy and the ANC.

The former Robben Islander and present chairperson of the party's integrity committee condemned the party's leaders for not forcing the president to resign after the damning Nkandla Constitutional Court judgment.

In an exclusive interview with Cape Times's sister newspaper The Star on Thursday, the Struggle stalwart said it pained him seeing the party persisting on a path of self-destruction by failing to rein in corrupt leaders.

He was initially reluctant to speak about the ANC’s problems openly, maintaining his long-standing stance of only criticising it within the confines of its internal structures.

“You see, for example, (a) large number of groups have approached me on the Nkandla issue. I have rejected them. They say ‘Mlangeni, your colleague (Ahmed) Kathrada and others have spoken and say the president must fall’. They say ‘you are quiet’."

Quizzed further, Mlangeni, the 91-year-old who is one of the three remaining Rivonia triallists along with Kathrada and Denis Goldberg, couldn't hold back his criticism.

“I am saying it (Nkandla issue) could have been handled differently. I think they should have taken a decision and asked him to resign because by not resigning he has killed the organisation and the economy of the country has gone down.”

Amid the calls for Zuma to resign, the NEC said it had accepted Zuma’s apology 
after he had addressed the nation regarding the Nkandla judgment.

In August, the NEC resolved, after its four-day meeting, to accept “collective responsibility” for the party's disastrous performance in the municipal election, which has largely been blamed on the scandals associated with Zuma.

Mlangeni said the NEC should have realised that persisting with the implementation of e-tolls in Gauteng and the scandals around the Guptas were so damaging that the ANC had “lost 8 percent in the 2014 (national) election”.

“The e-tolls issue made us lose some votes. The Nkandla issue and the Guptas thing, we should have seen that these were going to cost us more… We lost very badly.”

Zuma has applied for an urgent court application to interdict against the release of the report into the so-called state capture involving the Gupta family.

Mlangeni said he was deeply hurt seeing the ANC losing voter support because of self-inflicted mistakes.

“It's hurtful because people stayed away from voting. They say ‘punish the ANC, the ANC must not take us for granted’. If you haven't learnt from that, you will never learn.”

Mlangeni was cagey when asked if the integrity committee was contributing to the problems by not reading the Riot Act to wayward ANC members and leaders.

However, it is understood the committee it was being frustrated by party failures.

A source familiar with the integrity committee's work said: “We are not struggling. We get information, including from the media, where people are involved (in wrongdoing). If, for example, on the issue of corruption, there's evidence that so and so, a member of the organisation, is involved in this and that, we call that person (and say) monna(man) or mme(ma’am), there is this thing about you in the media, what’s your story?

“We don’t just rely on the media. We also do our own investigation. And on the basis of all that, we then take a decision and make a recommendation. But the NGC doesn't implement. They are discouraging us by not implementing our recommendations. That must be corrected,” said the source.

Mlangeni said his wish was to leave the ANC in a good state when he dies. ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party would not comment about members criticising the party in public.

“I won’t engage with members who raise issues in public, whether its Uncle Kathy (Kathrada) or Mlangeni.”

 

Cc SG of the ANC Cde Ace Magashule

Cc Deputy SG of ANC Cde Jessie Duarte.