05/07/2007 Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi at a media briefing. Picture: Phill Magakoe
05/07/2007 Minister of Public Service and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi at a media briefing. Picture: Phill Magakoe

ANC should further national democratic revolution free from paralysis of factions, says Fraser-Moleketi

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jul 31, 2021

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FORMER Public Service and Administration minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi says the ANC should look at what needed to be done to further the national democratic revolution free from paralysis and distortion of factionalism.

Fraser-Moleketi made the statements when she delivered the Joe Gqabi Memorial Lecture organised by the Harry Gwala Foundation on Saturday.

Gqabi, a former journalist and member of the SACP, was the ANC’s chief representative in Zimbabwe who was shot several times in his driveway in Harare in 1981.

Fraser-Moleketi said Gqabi was a revolutionary and outstanding leader of the ANC and the alliance as a whole.

She also said the story of Gqabi included that of previous processes of the strategic renewal of the ANC.

Fraser-Moleketi said to honour his legacy it was to lead the country through the renewal and unity of the movement.

“Our governance and leadership cannot be more of the same. It must be grounded on the fundamental understanding of political, economic and social challenges confronting our society today.

“It must be the formulation of a tangible programme that yields benefits for society and provides purpose and direction to cadres,” she said.

Fraser-Moleketi said as they honoured Gabi as a political and socially engaged figure, they should draw inspiration from his efforts towards organisational work and mobilisation commitment with militant stature.

She noted that since the ANC December 2017 conference, ANC leaders and members have spoken about the need for unity and renewal of the movement.

Fraser-Moleketi said Gqabi and his comrades were not the kind of leaders who were into factionalism.

“He sacrificed and gave his life and what we see today and the excuses that are given are unacceptable.”

She also said it seemed clear what should be done for the ANC renewal.

“The ANC must take steps to ensure it produces members who are like Joe Gqabi. Together they must restore the ANC to its historic mission as the hope of the masses of our people, no longer one in which people have lost confidence.”

She also said those who were revolutionary democrats, loyal and principled servants of the people should work out what should be done to achieve the goals.

“What is clear is that if the ANC does not carry the process of renewal, it will perish. What is also clear is that the ANC can only seriously talk about its unity during and after its process of renewal.”

Fraser-Moleketi also said sometimes it was easy to be overwhelmed by challenges that were being faced.

“However, it is important that we take a moment to record efforts during most trying times to achieve our democratic dispensations. Reflecting on the life and death of Joe Gqabi starkly reminds about the bitter confrontation between revolution and counter revolution,” she said.

The former minister said the counter-revolutionaries were active with an agenda which sought to amplify and exploit disagreement in the movement to reverse progress and divide the people.

“While they may be clothed in our colours and speak our language, their process is to divide and defeat the national democratic revolution.

“They flourish in the space created by factionalism and the absence of progressive leadership. Be wary of naming them too soon because those who sit among us claiming to be progressive may well be part of the earlier project.

“The biggest worry is whether the current challenges within larger movement allow these forces to have enough confidence to intensify their offensive to cause more damage than they have already done.

“That damage has included weakening the institutions of the democratic state, including those in the criminal justice sector, destruction of SOEs and subversion of progress to better the lives for all people.”

Fraser-Moleketi also said Gabi sacrificed his life so that future generations should continuously enjoy an improving life in a non-sexist, non-racial and just democratic South Africa.

“We must ensure that happens,” she said.

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