Good morning ANC Veterans and senior leadership of the ANC in the Province of the Legends of our struggle.
Today’s all-inclusive workshop on the elections campaign by the Provincial Elections Team of the Veterans League is to ensure that members of the Veterans League are united and fully involved in every aspect of the Eastern Cape elections campaign. It happens with only thirty days to the most contentious elections in the history of the South African elections.
It also happens when a number of small parties have been established to democratically contest the elections. Its all about weakening the ANC and not to allow us to have the majority in Parliament.
The all inclusive workshop is the first step in the revitalisation of the structures of the Veterans Leagues in the Eastern Cape after we have fully participated and ensured the ANC decisively win the elections on 8 May.
At the last ANC NEC meeting that took place on 1 April 2019, where a thorough assessment was made on our elections campaign, the ANC Youth League and the Veterans League were sighted by our President Cyril Ramaphosa as structures that were absent during the elections campaign.
It is a fact that leaders and members of the Veterans League are not visible and are not part of the provincial and national elections campaigns.
As long serving members of the ANC, we have to lead by example. We have to revatalise ANC branches, our regional and provincial structures and ensure that we are part of our well-oiled elections machinery that will lead us to a resounding victory on May the 8th 2019.
As Veterans of the ANC we must admit that since the late Cde Norushe was elected as the Deputy President of the Veterans League in October 2017, the Eastern Cape Veterans League has not played its most critical role of mobilising, uniting, and intervening authoritatively on all issues that affect the integrity and credibilty of our glorious movement.
It is our duty and responsibility to change the Veterans League from a passive, ineffective and docile League to a more robust, constructive and authoritative league that has the authority to restore the integrity and credibility of our organisation.
The involvement of members of the Veterans League in the Integrity Commision which will soon have powers to summon members of the ANC to appear before it to answer allegations or complaints of unethical conduct is of primary importance.
As ANC Veterans we should strive and insist to have leaders who are beyond reproach. The integrity of the ANC is sacrosant.
We should ensure that we involve skilled, experienced and well-grounded members of the Veterans Leagues at our most crucial sub committees of the ANC like: Organisation and Building Campaigns, Communications, Constitutional Affairs, Commission on Religious Affairs, Economic Transformation, Education and Health, Elections, International Relations, Legislature and Governance, National Appeals Committee, Disciplinary Committee, Peace and Stability and others.
We should raise our voice loudly against corruption, unethical behaviour and wrong doing wherever it occurs in our ranks and in government. We must also inculcate the culture of holding meetings of the National Office Bearers as well as Provincial Office Bearers. Meetings of the National and Provincial Working Committees, meetings of the National Executive and Provincial Executive Committees, and general meetings to report back to our constituancy.
When we had the Gauteng all inclusive workshop on the 12 March, Veterans were so excited as they met for the fisrt since their last elective conference in 2014.
One must commend the Eastern Cape for being the only province that had a Provincial Consultative Conference.
However, for us to hold the above meetings, we have to be financially independent and aggressively raise funds for the Veterans League.
Our leadership must ensure that our Provincial Government implements the 30 per cent set asides for women, youth, disabled and the ex-combatants.
In all honesty, the ANC leadership has high regard for the Veterans League, however, we need to work hard to earn that respect.
We are gathered here when our movement and the country had entered an era of renewal, when we are aggressively addressing problems of divisions and dysfunctionality and when we are restoring the integrity and credibility of our time-tested movement.
The Veterans League should play a leading role in restoring the integrity and credibilty of our glorious movement. We should be more active in the elections campaign, unite society and the country and ensure that we are given another chance to govern the country on behalf of society. We have nothing to lose but our country and our glorious organisation.
How do we revitalise the Veterans League in the Eastern Cape?
Our plan going forward from today’s meeting is to work with the PEC of the Veterans League in the Eastern Cape to properly constitute branches and regions of the Veterans’ League. Many of our comrades are fully fledged members of the Veterans League and there are those who qualify as members of the League but have not yet applied for membership. Others might be over 60 years of age but have not yet completed 40 years of unbroken service in the ANC as set out in the ANC Constitution. There is a category of membership that provides for your active participation and support of the work of the Veterans’ League. Every year we also have comrades who reach the age of 60, whose activism, experience and participation in the Veterans’ League is needed so that members of the Veterans’ League play their active role in the political and organisational work of the structures of the ANC.
However, our Constitution has not been amended as Veterans League Conference resolution of October 2017, that we should establish regions and plan for a provincial conference in July.
We need a solid Veterans League structure with a full-time provincial secretary and a strong Veterans League Provincial Executive.
Without a strong Veterans League we will not have a strong ANC.
As elections will take place in less than 34 days, let us leave this meeting knowing that we will actively participate in the Eastern Cape Elections Campaign under the leadership of the Eastern Cape Veterans’ League PEC.
As the ANC, we have submitted our lists of respresentatives to serve in the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures.
We support the nomination of those who are tried and tested, credible and ethical. We do not support the inclusion in our lists of anyone who has been involved in corruption and unethical behaviour. We urge all the nominated candidates of the ANC to introspect and decline their nomination if their inclusion in the lists will in any way dent the image of our glorious movement.
We support the NEC resolution that the Integrity Commission must be given the lists of nominated candidates and summon all those implicated in unethical behaviour to account.
Let us all work for unity and ensure that we build a strong Veterans League and that will build a strong ANC that will deliver our set objectives.
We must all play an active role in ensuring that we win these elections with a resounding victory.
President of the ANC Veterans League