Debate over the question of preference on leadership is as old as the writing of history itself. Agreement has never been reached easily where there is an existence of such a debate but of principal importance is the manner in which such a debate being handled. It is the manner of political maturity than in history that political controversies and conflicts are most comprehensively and systematically managed. Much as history embodies explanations and arguments that structure political conclusions which have political effect on concrete and political problems, in the same manner in which politics relies on history for its justification, history also relies on politics to justify its explanatory schemes.
There is no justification whatsoever, be it political or historical that warrants us to be experts in vilification and rebuking each other in public in our quest to prove our political correctness. How sad it becomes that sometimes our political correctness is being overshadowed by the manner in which we present our case. No matter how genuine our case may be but once we climb upon the peak of a mountain and begin to call our fellow comrades with all sorts of names and labels we become political hypocrites with such publicity stunts and glory seeking tendencies. These name calling tendencies do not make us super heroes but it channel us to dance in the gallery of the enemy.
Booker T Washington an acclaimed African American educationist has this to say in his autobiography, Up from Slavery, In matters of little or no concern we may be divided like fingers in an open hand, but in matters of significance and importance we must be united like fingers in a fist. This however does not mean that differing in opinion can not exist but it must be handled in a dignified manner particularly by those who purport to be seasoned leaders of the revolution.
Comrade “GG” s contribution needs to be appreciated but the forum he presents it is not conducive for such consumption and its timing its questionable particularly when we are towards the provincial conference. It can be easily interpreted as a demotivation of some comrades he tries to expose. He is brave enough to call a spade by its name but he goes beyond limits in his narration of the selective sequence of events. He accuses the Mpumalanga ANCYL of being shallow minded for calling for the removal of Thabang Makwetla in public as a justification of his installment but overdoes it in a haphazard and reckless manner. Assuming that the Youth League is wrong but two wrongs can never make a right. Comrade “GG” indeed provide that elementary skeleton with no flesh, the dry narration with no analysis, but the bones he provides are those of anger for the victims of shipwrecks.
Not long ago when our country witnessed the brutal xenophobic attacks particularly in Alexandra, hypocrites from the suburbs rushed to SAFM in twang tongues saying what is happening is inhuman , a brother killing another brother. When the government pitched tents in open spaces in the suburbs for the displaced “brothers” the very people who complained about the inhumane behaviour cried foul saying that the value of their properties will depreciate because of these “brothers” in their neighbourhood. This is what we observe here in this regard.
Perhaps we must interrogate the reasons behind these outbursts by both the Youth League for the calling of the removal of the Premier from office and that of “GG” against the Youth League. I must be upfront here to mention without ambiguity that no one in his sober state of mind can deny the role Comrade Thabang Makwetla played in the struggle against the past illegitimate regime. He joined the ANC when it was not fashionable to do so risking his life and all the comforts some of his peers enjoyed. But that alone does not give him political immunity from being under scrutiny when there is dissatisfaction from his people.
The question that has to be answered is whether there is any justification for such a call by the Youth League for the removal of the provincial number one. Another dimensional question is the defence of the provincial chairperson by Godrich Gardee whether it has brutal honesty or he is being incensed by the Youth League’s preferred replacement.
Lenin the most outstanding practitioner of the revolutionary art wrote about the importance of the concrete analysis of the concrete moment. This means that we must act effectively within concrete conjuncture to seize the moment. We must remain calm and cool headed not be driven by myopic emotions. Certainly after the provincial conference a new voice will emerge ushering a new breath of fresh air. The culture of the movement in dealing with choosing leaders is comprehensively dealt within the document “Through the eye of a needle”. It provides that winning genuine acceptance by the membership, not through suppression, threats, patronage, but by being principled, firm, humble and considerable. It elaborates attributes that are expected of leaders including understanding and application of policy, self improvement by learning from mistakes, avoiding populism, leading by example including revolutionary morality and subjection to the will of the people.
We are aware of the agenda by counter revolutionary forces to loot state resources and hide behind the ANC for protection. We also know who and what a good leader is because of our painful experience. A good leader is the one who surrounds himself with people who empower him with wisdom. The various forms of brigandage that visited upon the province made us realise the need to rejuvenate our hegemony. We are conscious when we say that amongst the current crop of “leaders” some of them have no history of the revolution but they are being driven by their thirst for fame, quick cash and power to destroy. Truly we are not drunk when we say that the revolution is on trial and it is time to defend the NDR. Of course some expect us to fail not only after the conference but right now before it even starts, it is however for us to demonstrate the maturity of will and unity for the purpose required by the NDR.
What is certain is the fact that the Provincial Conference will affirm that we gambol and frolic unchained under the Mpumalanga sun and our dignity will be restored.