The family of Cde Zola Skweyiya, members of the ANC, Veterans of our glorious movement, ladies and gentlemen.
Its an honour for us as members of the ANC Veterans League to be part of the family as it unveils the tombstone of their beloved father, grandfather and a dedicated member of the ANC and of Umkhonto We Sizwe.
It was on the 11th of April 2018 when the country was robbed of one of its most respected leader of the ANC and the country, Dr Zola Skweyiya.
Cde Zola Skweyiya was highly respected for the role he played as the head of the ANC’s legal and constitutional affairs department, which was key in the drafting of our Constitution and the negotiations towards a free and democratic South Africa.
The unveiling takes place at a time when we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Morogoro Conference which took place in April 1969 in Tanzania.
It was on this day 25 years ago when the South African people changed the course of history and broke the bonds of colonialism and apartheid.
It was on the 27th of April 1994, that South Africa held its first non-racial and democratic elections. It was also on this day that the people of South Africa delivered a decisive majority to the African National Congress. It is through these elections that Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa and committed the ANC in building a non-racial and democratic South Africa.
Comrade Zola Skweyiya was an integral part of the motive forces that changed the course of history and themselves to better the lives of the poor.
It was, Comrade Zola, because of your selfless contribution and that of other comrades who died during the course of struggle, that we are celebrating this day as free South Africans, with a constitution that is embraced and revered by all South Africans and the world. We have a constitution that advances the indivual and collective rights of our people.
We now have robust Chapter Nine Institutions, independent judiciary and parliament, that are critical to safeguarding and protecting these rights.
Our democracy unleashed the creative energies of all people in sports, arts, music, literature, film and dance as well as Science, Technology and innovation.
Today, 8 out of 10 South Africans, including those in the rural areas have their homes electrified. Nine out 10 South Africans have access to water.
Cde Zola, you will certainly be happy that the social grant programme initiated by yourself has improve the quality of poor citizens’ lives.
The number of individuals on social grants has increased from 3 million in 1994 to 17,5 million in 2017, benefiting children, the elderly and people with disability.
As the ANC, we look back with pride of what we have achieved, However, we must admit that we could have done better, particularly accelerating service delivery to the poor.
Comrade Zola, before you departed from this world you were worried about the future of your organisation and the country.
Instability and looting at State Owned Enterprises, loss of three Metros during the local government elections to the opposition, and the violation of the South African Constitution by our ANC government, were of great concern and took a toll on your health.
As the ANC Veterans, we are confident that with the leadership of Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, we will return our glorious movement to its former glory.
The State Capture, the Zondo Commission, the Nugent Commission, PIC Commission and the Justice Yvonne Mokgoro Commission, have laid bare the level of corruption committed by our once trusted comrades.
It is true we had veered off course. However, we are now on the road to recovery.
As Veterans we support the initiative by the president to cleanse the ANC and to back its integrity and credibility.
We are encouraged that the movement is determined to show zero tolerance in the fight against corruption and misconduct within the ANC.
We want to assure you, Comrade Zola, that we will not disappoint you. we will work hard and tirelessly as you did to bring back the values, traditions and principles of our glorious movement.
On the lists process of those going to our national and provincial parliaments, we would humbly request that those that are implicated in corrupt activities, and involved in unethical behaviour and lied under oath should withdraw from the lists.
Our national and provincial parliaments and our people deserve better. As we prepare for the most contentious elections on the 8th of May, we humbly request all South African to give the ANC another mandate to govern the country on their behalf.
In your name and those that sacrificed and laid their lives for this country, we will ensure that we unite the society, deliver on our mandate and improve the quality of our people’s lives.
I thank you.
President of the ANC Veterans League