Mandela endorses ANC

Staff Reporter

The ANC moved into electioneering mode this weekend with a mass rally in the Free State and an endorsement from former president Nelson Mandela.

The ANC moved into electioneering mode this weekend with a mass rally in the Free State and an endorsement from former president Nelson Mandela.

“The ANC would always be on the side of the masses, it would never leave or abandon you,” ANC deputy-president Kgalema Motlanthe told hundreds of ANC supporters in Maokeng in the Free State.

Motlanthe said the trust and faith Maokeng had put in the ruling party would not be wasted.

“Your needs would be addressed properly.”

Earlier, Motlanthe embarked on a door-to-door campaign in Marabastad to find residents were not happy with the conditions of the streets, houses and the infrastructure.

“The houses in Marabastad are in a state of disrepair and dilapidated,” Motlanthe said.

“Just to walk in the streets [in Marabastad], is a struggle but the ANC has always been an organisation of struggle, we know,” he told the crowd.

Motlanthe said “others [political parties] would come and make promises to people in the area because they have no responsibility”.

He said the ANC would never make empty promises.

Meanwhile, in the Eastern Cape, Mandela on Sunday endorsed the ANC election campaign, the party said.

Mandela arrived at a rally in Idutywa with party president Jacob Zuma. He was accompanied by his daughter Makaziwe and grandson Mandla.

ANC spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu said Mandla spoke
on behalf of the Mandela family and said that he and his grandfather were “there to confirm their ANC membership and support for the party”.

“He [Mandla] said they were here to dispel any notion by anybody, anywhere, who thinks that anybody within the Mandela family, particularly Nelson, were not supporting the ANC.”

According to Zulu, Mandla told the crowd that Mandela has always fought for justice in South Africa from within the ANC, and would continue to do so.

“He said they would continue to support the ANC towards winning the upcoming elections.”

Mandela’s appearance was the first at a political event in some years since he retired from active politics.

Speaking at the rally, Zuma described Mandela as “a legend” and “a living ANC ancestor”.

He reflected on an earlier meeting he had with Mandela before the rally.

“When we met earlier, Madiba said to me he wished to be present in just one ANC rally to greet the people and show everyone that he is still with us,” said Zuma.

“He [Mandela] encouraged us to campaign in these elections in a dignified manner and not talk about other people except the ANC and its policies. They [opposition parties] have nothing else to talk about other than the ANC.”

“Mandela is here today to say he will ‘die in the ANC’. He was the number 10th president, Zizi [Thabo Mbeki] number 11th and I am number 12th. We are blessed that he became South Africa’s first democratically elected president of South Africa.”

“When we see Mandela, we see our father, a brave warrior. When talking about Mandela, you are talking about the history of the ANC.”

Zuma said Mandela was the true embodiment of the organisation who led the ANC Youth League, Defiance Campaign, and the “volunteer-in-chief and commander-in-chief”.

“He is a devoted member of the ANC until the end. He has taught us that when there are challenges or differences in opinion within the organisation, don’t run away but stay inside to resolve them.”

Zuma said the ANC was committed to ensuring a better quality of life for all South Africans.

“You have the power, so use it. You have the power to vote in leaders to govern and the power to recall them when they fail you. When you cast your vote in elections, you demonstrate your power. If a councillor does not deliver, pass a vote of no confidence,” Zuma said. - Sapa

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