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Libby Lloyd

ICASA MOURNS THE PASSING OF LIBBY LLOYD, FORMER COUNCILLOR AND ICT SECTOR EXPERT

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is joining millions of South Africans who are mourning the passing of its former Councillor and one of the most influential policy and regulatory specialists within the ICT sector – Ms Libby Lloyd.

Libby started out as a journalist, working for the former Capital Radio, National Public Radio in the United States and BBC Ireland. She is the founding CEO of the Media Development and Diversity Agency and further served as Board Member of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. She served as a Councillor at both the IBA and ICASA and more recently served on a Ministerial Panel of experts for the National Integrated ICT Policy Review process that culminated in the ICT White Paper. Libby played a significant role in transformation of the ICT sector and was committed to the public interest.

“The ICT sector and South Africa at large has lost a selfless cadre, committed and disciplined individual in Libby Lloyd. Her positive contribution on policy and regulation will be missed. May her soul rest in eternal peace,” says ICASA Chairperson, Rubben Mohlaloga.

COMESA

Border officials trained on the COMESA Simplified Trade Regime

Border officials and traders at ten border points between the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda have been empowered with knowledge on the COMESA Simplified Trade Regime and the minimum standards for treatment of small scale cross border traders.

The training and awareness creation programme conducted by COMESA staff was held under the World Bank funded Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project (GLTFP). The first phase of this project covers the DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

The four main objectives of the workshops were to make the GLTFP known, to increase awareness among the customs, immigration, police and health officers, Cross Border Traders Associations (CBTAs), cross border traders and other stakeholders on the COMESA STR and the regulations on minimum standards for the treatment of small scale cross border traders.

Other objectives were that improved understanding of the STR is expected to contribute to greater impetus towards implementation of the STR and ultimately more small scale traders benefitting from the regime.

The enhanced understanding of gender issues and the regulations on the minimum standards for the treatment of small scale traders would contribute to more professional treatment of small scale traders and reduction of incidents of harassment, corruption, conflict and other malpractices and ultimately reduce costs of doing business by small scale traders.

The borders that were trained are Rusizi and Rubavu in Rwanda, Bukavu, Bunagana, Kasindi, Mahagi and Goma in the DRC and Bunagana, Mpondwe and Goli in Uganda.

Each of the 10 awareness workshops held from 7 – 21 December 2017, was attended by an average of 50 participants.

WILLIE KEORAPETSE KGOSITSILE

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE MOURNS THE DEATH OF ITS STALWART AND VETERAN, COMRADE WILLIE KEORAPETSE KGOSITSILE

The ANC Veterans League is still reeling with shock and disbelief at the passing away of South Africa’s poet laureate, Keorapetse Kgositsile, affectionately referred to as Bra Willie by both the young and not so young.

Some of us who lived, worked and interacted with him in Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and later in South Africa, drank deep from this fountain of inestimable knowledge.

Come with me then and let us delve into the not so distant past, where cherished memories were forged.

We all recall that 1976 witnessed the student’s uprising that became a turning point in the history of South Africa. Another South African poet laureate, Mazizi Kunene, refers to those enthusiastic, determined, committed and passionate young students as the children of iron, the fearless bees of the night, the wrath of the volcanic mountain, the abiding anger of their ancestral forefathers.

I remember vividly when these young comrades, abo-Qiniselani as we called them, talked about their first encounter with Bra Willie. They said that on their arrival in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, they met this well read, articulate, insightful Comrade who slowly but eloquently articulated the virtues of being patient, patriotic and tolerant of other people’s views and opinions.

He had a twinkle in his eye and was unassuming, they added. In animated tones these young brave comrades talked about the stories Bra Willie shared with them, including when and how he left the country, where he lived and studied, the severe winter storms in New York where he obtained his masters degree in Fine Arts, students and members of society he interacted with on his travels and involvement in anti-apartheid demonstrations as well as solidarity work. He prepared us psychologically for the long haul, they intimated.

On my way from Zambia to Tanzania, I met Bra Willie at our ANC Office. I was struck by his passion for education, for youth development, his knowledge of the world, African politics, African literature and his commitment to the fight for the liberation of Southern Africa.

Like he did with other ANC students, as if this was an induction course, his emphasis was that of increasing the number of well read, articulate, and committed intellectuals in our glorious movement.

He harped on education which he said was as important as the armed struggle. If, he maintained, we do not increase our intellectual base within the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe, how are we going to confront a well resourced and modern South African army which is armed with the latest technology to defend the apartheid regime.

He also prepared us for our future stay in foreign countries where the majority of us studied and acquired further knowledge.

The first year is definitely not going to be easy, he warned. However, you’d have to adjust as there is no other alternative but to acquire knowledge, come back qualified, prepared to serve the ANC and the people of South Africa.

You will always dream being at home in your own environment, being with your friends, engaged in intellectual discussions of how when South Africa is liberated, you will walk the streets of Pretoria and help in transforming society as articulated in our ANC’s Freedom Charter and yet when you wake up, you’d find yourself sharing a room with a foreign student and being far away from home without any contact with your family and friends. And yet you’d still be left with years of toil and tears. Never give up. Knowledge is power, he assured us.

Bra Willie, Thank you for the induction. What we experienced was indeed hard work and tears. We have survived the heavy and rough winter storms. We have grown taller. We are tolerant of dissenting voices, Yes, we are focused, able to research and always self critical of our actions and committed to the noble values of our glorious movement.

We are not complaining but lament the fact that you left us at a time when we are commemorating the ANC’s 106 anniversary, when we had just concluded the successful ANC‘s 54th National Conference, including the Conference of the ANC Veterans League, which you were also a member. .

A lot of work still needs to be done by the Veterans League. It is early days, but the future is upon us. We cannot escape change, for change is the essence of life.

As members of the Veterans League we have to work very hard to earn the respect that we deserve. We have nothing to lose and should not be afraid but be critical and propose solutions to our leadership.

As ANC Veterans who are custodians of its values and traditions, we are however confident that the new leadership, led by comrade Cyril Ramaphosa will work towards the restoration of the dignity of our glorious organization.

We reject the politics of factionalism. We will support all efforts by the new leadership to build a strong and united ANC that will relentlessly fight corruption in all its forms. Nobody should be above the law.

We support the call by the 54th ANC conference that the Integrity Commission must be independent, well-resourced and its findings binding.

For us to regain the confidence of the masses, leaders of the movement should meet our criteria as set in our policy document:” Through the eye of the needle.”

When facing difficulties and new challenges, we should not be afraid to self correct and self introspect.

We are ready and prepared to put our shoulder to the wheel with the aim of reigniting hope among

our people and restoring their confidence in our glorious organization.

As ANC Veterans, we will never lose sight of the selfless sacrifices of Comrades like Bra Willie, including thousands and many nameless and faceless comrades who gave their lives for the democracy we are enjoying today.

Bra Willie, comrade commander of a ready smile, we will not disappoint you and the South African society. We stand ready to serve!

Issued by;

Dr Snuki Zikalala

President of the ANC Veterans League

WILLIE KEORAPETSE KGOSITSILE

STATEMENT OF THE THABO MBEKI FOUNDATION ON THE PASSING OF CDE. WILLIE KEORAPETSE KGOSITSILE.

It is with a deep sense of shock and sadness that the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and its Patron former President Thabo Mbeki have learnt of the untimely passing away of Professor Willie Keorapetse Kgositsile. Bra Willie, as he was affectionately known among his friends and comrades was born on the 19th of September 1938 in Johannesburg.

Like all Black people in South Africa, his encounter with the viciousness of racism and apartheid came during his formative years as a young boy when he was forced to attend school far from home as he stayed in a “shack at the back of a house in a white neighbourhood.”

Comrade Willie was one of South Africa’s literary giants, poet, revolutionary and internationalist in his approach to the liberation struggle.

The June 16th generation encountered Bra Willie when he was a Professor of Literature at the University of Dar es Salaam and it was from him that most learnt about the vicissitudes and the challenges of exile life. Bra Willie had a way of telling even the most painful experience in a light and humourous way. As a humble person most of the June 16th Generation enjoyed his company and in the process gained a lot from him because of his ability to impart his knowledge with such ease that most of the Soweto generation who joined the struggle in 1976 found it very easy to engage with him.

He was able to express himself and his philosophical outlook to the struggle and the quest for freedom in very simple and easy to understand manner but yet at the same time full of profound meaning. He is reported to have said “in a situation of oppression, there are no choices beyond didactic writing: either you are a tool of oppression or an instrument of liberation.”

In 1961 when the apartheid regime launched its offensive against the liberation forces and its determination to silence any opposition voices such as the New Age where Bra Willie worked, he was forced to leave the country and initially went to Dar es Salaam. Soon after he went to the United States where he studied in a number of universities starting with Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the University of New Hampshire and The New School for Social Research.

During this time his first collection of poems “Spirits Unchained” was published which earned him the “Harlem Cultural Council Poetry Award and a “National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Award.” In 1971 he graduated from Columbia University and began teaching in New York.

In the same year he published the collection “My name is Africa” which placed him as an undisputed African American Poet.  In his studies Bra Willie paid a lot of attention to African American studies. His artistic approach and philosophical outlook to art is expressed in the statement “There is nothing like art – in the oppressor’s sense of art. There is only movement. Force. Creative power. The walk of Sophiatown Tsotsi or my Harlem brother on Lenox Avenue, Field Hollers. The Blues. A Trane riff. Marvin Gaye or Mbaqanga. Anguished Happiness. Creative power, in whatever form it is released, moves like the dancer’s muscles.”

Here in South Africa comrade Willie was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in recognition of his excellent achievements in the field of literature. He was also celebrated at the National Poet Laureate.

Comrade Willie used his talent and the power of the pen to wage the struggle against oppression as well as broaden the horizons of knowledge among the African people irrespective of where they were. In this regard it he used his talent to assert African identity, pride and dignity. He will surely be missed by his family, his friends and comrades in the African National Congress as well as our people as a whole.

The Foundation conveys its heartfelt condolences to the Kgositsile family.

MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA

CLOSING ADDRESS BY ANC PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ANC 54TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE

NASREC, 20 DECEMBER 2017

National Chairperson, Cde Gwede Mantashe,

Outgoing President of the African National Congress, Cde Jacob Zuma,

Members of the newly-elected National Executive Committee,

Members of the Electoral Commission,

Representatives of the Alliance, fraternal parties and observers,

Distinguished guests,

Delegates, This is a deeply humbling moment, to address the closing session of the 54th National Conference of our beloved and glorious movement, the African National Congress.

There is no doubt that this has been a Conference of enormous importance and great significance.

In the months and weeks before this Conference, speculation was rife that this 54th National Conference would either not be held or that it would collapse.

Your attendance at this Conference, representing your branches, is a victory over the doomsayers and those who do not wish our movement well.

We therefore congratulate you for having defied the negative speculative predictions by making this Conference happen and ensuring it is successful.

There were some who even suggested that Nasrec would represent the end of the ANC as we would emerge from here divided.

We are still here. Standing almost 106 years later. United.

Nasrec 2017 has not only united us. It has strengthened us. It has galvanised us and rejuvenated us.

We continue to confound our critics.

Over the course of the last five days, our movement has grappled with the

challenges and tasks of this critical moment in the history and life of our people and our country.

The ANC has listened to the aspirations, hopes, wishes, cries and concerns of our people through the voices of the delegates representing our people from the length and breadth of our country.

As delegates representing branches of our movement you have given expression to our peoples hopes through the resolutions you have adopted here and the leadership you have chosen.

In electing the leadership, you, as the delegates to this Conference, have turned your back on the politics of the slate.

You have insisted that the people who lead this movement should not be from one or another faction, but should serve our people in their own right as representatives of the membership as a whole.

This Conference has given us an opportunity to confront difficult truths.

In recent times, we have seen the ANC at its worst.

We have seen an organisation divided against itself. And yet, we have also seen glimpses of the ANC at its best.

Over the last few days, we have seen the ANC that we know and love.

As representatives of nearly a million members, you as delegates have demonstrated that the ANC is an organisation that is alive to the needs

of the people and that it is hard at work to develop policies and programmes that respond to these needs. More than that, we have seen at this Conference a movement that is determined to enhance its policies, to

strengthen implementation and to work with greater determination to unite

its members and build its structures.

Our people will judge this Conference not only by what we have done here

over these five days, but ­ perhaps more importantly ­ by what we do next.

The people of South Africa want action. They do not want words.

Our people want an ANC that lives up to its promise and is true to its mission.

They want an ANC that lives the values that it espouses and holds fast to the principles that have long defined it.

They want an ANC that uses public office not to serve vested interests, but to build a truly developmental state and a vibrant, inclusive economy that creates jobs and improves lives. As we leave this Conference, we are

resolved to humble ourselves before the people.

We are resolved to respect our people and earn their respect.

We are resolved to cast aside those attitudes and practices that have seen a gulf grow between those in public office and those they were elected to serve.

The African National Congress wishes to send a clear message to all South Africans that we are resolved to be a more responsive and more accountable leadership and movement.

We will continue to be rooted in communities through our branches and always seek to champion the interests of the people. We must examine, critically and honestly, our commitment to gender equality.

We must be conscious of the practices and attitudes that reinforce patriarchy within our organisation and society ­ and we must work

together to end them.

We need to become a more youthful organisation, more representative of

the age profile of our population.

This Conference has resolved that we engage and pay heed to the views and

insights of the veterans of our movement, organisations that have always

worked with us, and many others.

We will reach out to community organisations and other organs of civil society, understanding that they are critical for the exercise of people¹s power and are valuable partners for development.

We shall do so because we have a historic responsibility as the ANC to

lead society. The Alliance has faced many challenges and problems in the recent past.

We will work with our Alliance partners to repair relations between the four formations that our people expect to lead the National Democratic Revolution.

As this Conference, we are in agreement that the ANC cannot be strong and effective unless we are part of an Alliance that is strong, united and cohesive. We are confident that the outcomes of this Conference will

assist in advancing efforts to unite the former combatants of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

We must make the achievement of unity between MKMVA and the MK National

Council a priority of the incoming leadership.

As we leave this Conference, we are resolved to pursue with greater determination a radical path of socio-economic transformation, premised on growth, job creation and equitable distribution of income, wealth and

assets.

The issue of land has been a matter of great concern to our people whose land was taken from them. We will accelerate our programme of land reform and rural development as part of our programme of radical socio economic

transformation.

This Conference has resolved that the expropriation of land without

compensation should be among the mechanisms available to government to

give effect to land reform and redistribution.

It has also resolved that in determining the mechanisms of implementation, we must ensure that we do not undermine the economy, agricultural production and food security.

As the ANC, we have been the central driver of progress in our country and the economy over the last 23 years.

Our efforts have been aimed at eradicating poverty, inequality and reducing unemployment.We have placed the challenge of unemployment at the forefront of all our

actions in the economy.

Our focus on education and skills training is beginning to bear positive results.

Our social social development programmes have been aimed at addressing

poverty amongst our people.

The policies we have adopted here provide a platform for faster and more meaningful implementation of the National Development Plan. We will elaborate the decisions of this National Conference more fully when we

release the NEC Statement on January 13 when we celebrate our 106th year

of existence.

At the state level we must confront the reality that critical institutions of our state have been targeted by individuals and families

who, through the exercise of influence and the manipulation of governance

processes and public resources.

This has led to the weakening of our State Owned Enterprises whose governance structures need to be revamped.

Whether we call this state capture or simply corruption, this has undermined the integrity of our institutions, cost our economy hundreds

of billions of rands and contributed to the further impoverishment of our people.

Given all these challenges we are called upon to act against corruption, collusion and other economic crimes prevalent in the public and private sector.

We must investigate without fear or favour the so-called Œaccounting

irregularities¹ that cause turmoil in the markets and wipe billions off the investments of ordinary South Africans.

This Conference has resolved that this must be acted upon and stopped.

We must also act fearlessly against alleged corruption and abuse of office within our ranks. We embraced the Integrity Commission at our NGC and endorsed that decision at the 53rd National Conference.

The setting up of the Integrity Commission is therefore not in question as there is consensus that the Integrity Commission should be supported and empowered to do its work without fear, favour or prejudice in order

to restore the Integrity of the ANC and help cultivate and promote ethical leadership.

The terms of reference including its duties and powers should be discussed and finalised by the National Executive Committee.

This Conference has resolved that corruption must be fought with the same intensity and purpose that we fight poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Through your deliberations, we have together developed a clear line of

march for the movement and for the new leadership. You have, over and

over again, emphasised that the ANC is the strategic centre of power for

all its cadres.

The actions of Comrades who are deployed by the movement should always be

informed by the interests of our members and our people, not personal

gain.

Their actions should always be a source of pride, and not a cause for

embarrassment.

They should take us closer to the National Democratic Society to which we aspire, not undermine it.

This National Executive Committee that you have elected commits itself to

follow the instructions that you have issued from this, our 54th National Conference.

You have instructed us to forge a united ANC.

You have also directed us to unite the Alliance and ensure that its

programmes are underpinned by unity. Another overarching task you have

charged us with is to unite the people of South Africa and work harder to heal the wounds of conflict and division.

We must focus afresh on the task of building a non-racial country, guided by the injunction in the Freedom Charter that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

Personally, I wish to thank you, with all humility, for the confidence that you have shown in me. I shall strive to serve our members, our supporters and the nation with commitment and diligence.

As the newly elected National Executive Committee, and as President I

speak on our behalf, we accept without reservation your clear instruction

that we must work together as a collective, undivided and motivated by a

single purpose ­ the service of our people.

We are aware that leadership in our movement is not confined to those who hold office.

I wish to pay tribute to Cde Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who contested the

position of President, for the manner in which she demonstrated commitment to our movement during the campaign.

Together with the other candidates, we all pledged to work closely in pursuit of the objectives of our revolution whether we succeeded in our election bid or not. On your behalf, I wish to thank those people who

have made this Conference possible ­ the management of NASREC, the

Electoral Commission and the Elexions Agency, technical staff, marshalls,

security officials and the many service providers, donors and exhibitors.

The SGO and the Steering Committee have done a sterling job to ensure that we hold a most successful conference.

I wish to thank the media for having reported the proceedings of this Conference to our people and the broader global community.

As revolutionary democrats, we recognise the vital role that the media plays in facilitating the free flow of information and in promoting

transparency and accountability.

We register our concern about an incident at this Conference involving a

journalist and security officials.

We have sought a report on what happened and must look at how we ensure

such incidents do not occur in the future.

I wish to thank our Alliance partners, representatives of civil society

organisations, guests from fraternal parties and members of the diplomatic corps who have been with us in various capacities over the past five days.

Above all, I wish to thank all our branch members, whose wishes and aspirations we had come here to represent.

To all delegates thank you for your attendance and patience and forbearance with delays in voting and programme planning.

As Officials we have already observed a number of things we can improve. We will make sure that our next NGC and Conference becomes a better experience for all delegates.

Please travel safely, arrive alive and have a peaceful festive season.

Make sure to have a good rest and come back from the holidays revitalised for the hard work that lies ahead in 2018 and beyond.

We look forward to meeting again at the ANC¹s 106th anniversary celebrations in East London on the 13th of January.

Next year, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of our founding President, Isithwalandwe Nelson Rolihahla Mandela.

True to his legacy and inspired by his remarkable life, let us hold fast

to the principle that guides us as the ANC ­ that we serve the people of

South Africa!

We serve them with humility, integrity and unwavering commitment.

We serve them without expectation of reward or recognition.

We serve them because we have chosen, each one of us, to become members

of the African National Congress and thereby to become selfless agents of

revolutionary change.

Finally, I would like, on your behalf, to thank President Jacob Zuma for the 10 years he has spent as the President of our movement and for a lifetime of service to the people of this country.

It was during your tenure Nxamalala, and thanks to your vision, that the National Planning Commission was established and produced the country¹s

first National Development Plan.

This is a framework for economic and social change that will guide our

country for many years to come.

History will record that it was at your insistence that South Africa expanded its antiretroviral programme rapidly and progressively to be the

largest in the world.

Through your intervention, we have made great strides in combating the

epidemic, many lives have been saved and many infections prevented.

We cannot close this, the 54th National Conference of the African National Congress, without paying tribute to you for your contribution over many decades to the struggle for freedom, democracy and development.

I thank you.

FEDUSA Congratulates Ramaphosa on his Election as ANC President

The Leadership of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) extends its well wishes
and congratulates Deputy President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa on his successful election as
the new President of the African National Congress (ANC), following the 54th Elective Conference at the NASREC Expo in Johannesburg, where some 4,700 delegates cast their ballots. Comrade Cyril is a South African politician, businessman, activist, and trade union leader who has served as the Deputy President of South Africa under President Jacob Zuma since 2014.
The news of Ramaphosa’s election comes as a relief to restore much needed confidence in both the political and economic stability of the country, said FEDUSA General Secretary, Dennis George. The federation anticipates that this much needed early Xmas present will go a long way in the restoration of investor confidence, strengthen the currency and ward off all possible considerations of a downgrade by ratings agencies, who have closely monitored the situation with bated breath.FEDUSA believes the Ramaphosa’s influential leadership as part of the Team SA initiative in particular, will now have to realise its true potential by translating the full outcome of the inclusive economic growth trajectory that was envisioned by the Government, Business and Labour social partners.

This is certainly an opportune time for Ramaphosa to rise to the occasion by demonstrating his ability to reshape and formalise a renewed outlook for South Africa’s financial markets and the economy overall,” emphasised George.

The hard work starts now as the employment and growth projections outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP) require unconditional commitment, as its current standing remains a far cry from reality. FEDUSA certainly looks forward to its continued relations with the Presidency, in order to drive inclusive economic growth and the realisation of Decent Work and Decent Life for All.

LEST WE FOGET THE BARBARIC MASSACRE IN MASERU By Advocate Vusi Pikoli

Two extraordinary events left an ineradicable mark in my life, all in one year. One had to do with matters of the heart and the other, grief, sorrow, sadness, and a resolve to throw my all in the struggle for national liberation.

It was in the year 1982 that I married my girlfriend whom I first met at high school in 1972. Girly Majola became Mrs Pikoli in that year. I was two years in exile in Lesotho, at the National University of Lesotho when our people were massacred in Maseru.

I was studying against my will. However, I had to follow political instructions from comrades Chris Hani and Thozamile Botha. You see, Thozi Majola, Sizwe Kondile, Phaki Ximiya and I had secretly and under the cover of darkness climbed the hills of Matatiele and illegally went through a thin worn out fence meant to be the border between South Africa and the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.

It was a cold wintry night, 14 September 1980. The fact that Steve Biko was murdered by the brutal apartheid security police on September 12 1977 was still fresh on minds. On crossing the border, we looked back at apartheid South Africa and vowed to return as freedom fighters. It was victory or death! Only Sizwe Kondile had a junior degree (B.Juris) and I was doing my fourth and final year B. Proc at Fort Hare University. Thozi Majola and Phaki Ximiya had earlier dropped out of university ( Fort Hare).

Earlier in September, two of our comrades in our unit were arrested in South Africa by the security police. Comrades Thembi Mbiyabo and Gomi Nzube were later sentenced to five years which they served in Robben Island for being members of a banned organization the ANC and promoting the interests of the African National Congress. This was the main reason for our flight into exile.

On arriving in Maseru via rough bus rides from Qacha’s Nek, Quthing, Mohaleshoek and Mafeteng, and eager to join Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in Angola, we were disappointed when comrade Chris Hani firmly told us that we must first go to the National University of Lesotho to complete our studies.

Simultaneously we were to build an ANC underground network in the Eastern Cape with the centre being in Port Elizabeth. Comrade Chris said in no uncertain terms should it be that that the underground was very weak in PE whilst very strong at the mass levels through open resistance and worker militancy.

We also ended up working very closely with the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU ) with comrades like the late Phakamile “ Mavimbela” Mpongoshe (he was also killed on 9 December), Slumber, Thozi Botha and Gazi among others. We were still not happy with this arrangement because we wanted to undergo military training so that we could go back home and fight.

It was all the more so because some of our friends and fellow rugby players from the University of Fort Hare had been allowed to undergo

military training like Dumisani Mafu, Siphiwe Mazwai, Mzwandile Vena, Pieces Maqhekeza, Phumzile Mayaphi, Sisa Ngombane and others.

They had arrived earlier than us in Lesotho, it was just a sheer coincidence that we found ourselves together at the same time in that country. However, we obeyed the political instructions. As a compromise, comrade Chris Hani organized a crash course in firearms, including light semi-automatic weapons including RPG 7 (Bazooka) by comrade Mbumba, Military Combat Work(MCW) by comrade Boy Njongwe ( Thabiso) and political classes conducted by the late brilliant Gene Gugushe (a brilliant fellow, also killed during the Maseru massacre).

When the South African Police (SAP) commandos descended in Maseru in the still of the night, aided by some apartheid agents in the Lesotho Mounted Police and the Lesotho Para-military force who were helpless and powerless in the face of that aggression, I was writing examinations at the university.

Also at the university at that time were other ANC comrades like Thozi Botha, Ngoako Ramathlodi, Tito Mboweni, Hlubi Radebe, Girly Pikoli, Phaki Ximiya, Shakes Mkhonto, Barry Pule and Nkululeko Jomo Kambule. When we heard the chilling news, we abandoned the exams and rushed to Maseru from Roma. It was very early in the morning at around 06h00.

We could not have been prepared for what we saw! In one house in Lithabaneng, we found comrade David dead, with his eyes wide open, with a big gaping wound where was once his forehead, with his brains

and blood splattered over the walls. Comrade Mazwi Yako was supposed to have slept there but for some reason had not returned to that house on that fateful night.

The same fate befell comrade Gazi (Mafutha). He was shot in front of his family that was spared the same fate. In another residence which was occupied by young comrades who were supposed to go for military training while others were en-route to the ANC’s Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College(Somafco), we found about five bodies that were charred beyond recognition.

Some of the bodies were still smoldering, with skulls having exploded from the intensity of the heat and brains oozing. We also went to Comrade Mpongoshe’s house (Mavimbela). I think there were about four bodies in his house including elderly comrades who had just come back from Robben Island who had come for a debriefing. They were expecting to be joined by their wives who actually arrived on the same day and were not aware that the boers had, in the early hours of that morning, attacked ANC houses including the house were their husbands were cold bloodedly killed.

In the Florida area, they had attacked and killed the ANC Chief Representative in Lesotho, including one of our political instructors, comrade Zola Nqini. They also shot and killed Dr. Norman Bantwini Ngciphe from Somerset East, a friend I was with at St Johns College in Mthatha. Mthobeli “Trinity” Zokwe survived the attack by dashing naked and running for dear life. A survivor in that house was a woman who is now a very close family friend, Baba Mkangisa.

Our brilliant political instructor, comrade Gene Gugushe, was also attacked in his flat. His Markarov was no match for the superior firepower of the apartheid murderers.

It was only in one residence where the apartheid security forces were successfully repulsed. This was the residence of comrade Mathabatha Booker T, Sexwale and Sis Bunie where they stayed with their two young daughters, Matsubane and Kananelo. Booker T came out firing with his AK47 and in the ensuing skirmish his daughter Kananelo who was a nine-year-old girl at the time was hit by the flying shrapnels. Fortunately, she survived and was taken out of Lesotho via Mozambique to receive treatment in the then German Democratic Republic(GDR).

By the end of that fateful day, we were exhausted and emotionally drained. We were scared and angry but had the steely resolve to be free and avenge the blatant murders of our comrades by the killing machinery of the apartheid regime. We had lost the cream of the crop, including young lives whose sin was to dare dream of freedom and dignity.

On that day, when the guns fell silent, 42 people were murdered by the PW Botha regime. In all, thirty ANC cadres and 12 Basotho nationals. We had to take the bodies to the mortuary at King Moeshoshoe II Hospital in Maseru. It was a hot summer of 1982. The lingering smell of death in my nostrils lasted for weeks and long after the funeral. The day before the funeral we dug 30 graves for our fallen comrades, singing freedom songs well into the night.

On the day of the funeral our spirits were lifted by the unexpected appearance of, and a eulogy by Cde President OR Tambo whose visit had been kept a tightly kept secret.

He had defied the ANC leadership and his family. He insisted on attending and speaking at the funeral. As leader and Commander-in-Chief, he refused to spare himself and in fact exposed himself to the dangers that members of his organization were daily exposed to.

He delivered a rousing speech which consoled and motivated us. He said: ”… sulani ezo nyembezi, nithathe izikhali zenu siye phambili.” Also at the funeral were the King of Lesotho and the Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan at the National stadium of Lesotho.

We took turns standing behind those 30 simple coffins with the unpleasant smell of death from coffins. Some of the bodies had started decomposing and it was a very hot day in Maseru on that day. The presence of the brave and fatherly figure of Comrade President Oliver Tambo was a great inspiration to us and the people from South Africa who defiantly attended that funeral, knowing fully well the consequences of being in the presence of the ANC leadership and general members.

As I watched the coffins being lowered and we started filling up the graves, I thought to myself: Who knows? I could have been the thirty first, had it not have been the fact that comrade Chris Hani had sent some of us to university for another mission. We were students by day and guerrillas by night! I salute all the fallen heroes of our struggle who made our freedom day -April 27 -1994 possible.

Thabo Mbeki

ADDRESS OF THE PATRON OF THE TMF, THABO MBEKI, AT THE SUPER RETURN AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA ­ LIVING UP TO ITS PROMISE

Chairperson of Conference,
Distinguished participants:

More than a decade ago, we were honoured as the South African government to host for a few days a leading representative of the then government of Austria.

At that moment our democracy was less than ten years old and continued to attract considerable attention throughout the world. Accordingly we had to engage our Austrian guest in a detailed discussion about ourprogrammes to respond to our national challenges.

Our guest left us with an observation which many of us never forgot. Simply he said that in the international context ­ South Africa is a pilot project!

In this regard he picked out two matters. These were first what we were doing to build a truly non-racial society and therefore successfully manage a diverse society, and secondly what we were doing to eradicate poverty and in that context reduce the gross racial and gender
socio-economic inequalities which our democracy had inherited.

Our guest insisted that even Austria faced similar challenges of managing
a diverse society and reducing socio-economic inequalities, obviously on
a much smaller degree than South Africa.

He therefore informed us that because of this the broad Austrian
leadership was doing its best to watch how our country was responding to
these challenges and was greatly encouraged that we were successfully serving as a pilot project even for his country!

I have told you this story because of the subject I have been asked to address, which is, South Africa ­ Living up to its promise¹.

I have read this to mean that certainly the organisers of this important
Conference believe that South Africa has not lived up to its promise!

In this regard let e hasten to say that I fully agree with this
sentiment, that indeed democratic South Africa has not fully lived up to
its promise!

And what were the elements of that promise?

Our Austrian guest was correct when he said that our country held out the
promise of the successful management of a racially diverse society,
leading to the building of a truly non-racial society.

Related to this was the promise that it would entrench democracy in our
country in a manner which would ensure the building of the necessary
institutions, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Our country also held out the promise of radically reducing poverty in
our country and reducing the yawning racial and gender inequalities in
terms of the distribution of wealth and income, thus to accomplish the
goal of a better life for all.

In this context it held out the promise that it would build an economy
which would grow and develop at significant rates, sufficient for it to
generate the new wealth on a sustainable basis which is required to
achieve the progressive socio-economic objectives I have mentioned.

With the strongest and most developed economy on our Continent and the
value system that historically characterised our national liberation
movement, certainly as represented by the governing party, the ANC, our
country held out the promise that it would also serve as a living example
which would contribute to dissipate the then prevalent Afro-pessimism and
thus help other countries on our Continent to address their challenges in
a manner which would make a positive impact on the lives of the billion
Africans.

This would make it possible for Africa to take its rightful place in the
system of international relations resulting, among others, in better
management of Africa¹s resources and less dependence on the charity of
the developed world of the North.

It therefore stands to reason that when the assertion is made that South
Africa has not lived up to its promise this statement must be measured
against the various Œpromises¹ I have just listed.

However, with your permission, I will not do this as it would take a fair
amount of time which we do not have this morning.

I would like to believe that all of us here are familiar with the fact
that three weeks ago the Veterans and Stalwarts of the ANC, our country¹s
governing party, held what they described as a National Consultative
Conference.

Briefly, these very senior cadres of the ANC convened this Conference
exactly because of their very grave concern that because of various
misdemeanours of the ANC as a governing party, our country was
continuously moving away from delivering on the promises I have listed.

Let me quote part of what the Consultative Conference said in the
Declaration it issued as it concluded its work.

Among others, the Veterans and Stalwarts of the ANC, our country¹s
governing party, said:

³We observe that the current elected leadership of the ANC is paralysed
and unable to deal with ill-discipline, incompetence and corruption that
point directly to the highest office in the landŠ

³We further observe that parliament and the executive, led by the
President, (have) been found to have failed in their constitutional
obligations by the highest court of the land.

³The mismanagement of our economy has led to unprecedented unemployment
rates. This has exacerbated the levels of poverty amongst the masses of
our peopleŠ

³We are witness to the moral degeneration in society that is overseen by
a self-centred, non-caring leadership that lacks honesty, integrity and a
vision for the futureŠ

(We are also witness to)The systematic erosion of the State¹s ability
to carry out its constitutional mandate of delivering services to our
peopleŠ, as well as,

(Actions by the ANC leadership which have resulted in) ³Diminishing the
stature and reputation of South Africa and the African National Congress
in the eyes of our people, the sister peoples on the African continent
and the world at large.

I believe that these statements made by a most politically mature echelon
of the membership of the ANC are sufficient to indicate how seriously the
people of South Africa view and describe the reality that our country has
failed to live up to its promise, and therefore their urgent desire to
move away from this negative reality.

In any case and in addition, all of us are familiar with the negative
assessment of the rating of South Africa which has been made by the
international rating agencies, consistent with the views expressed even
by the oldest of the members of the ANC!

Thus we must come back to the question ­ what must be done to ensure that
South Africa lives up to its historic promise?

Of course, immanent in that very question, is the suggestion that it is
in fact possible to achieve the objective of ensuring that our country
lives up to its promise!
My comments with regard to the matters I have just raised are that:

First, it is indeed possible to ensure that our country lives up to its
promise.

Secondly, to achieve this outcome, it will be important that our country
is mobilised to act in unity to achieve the nationally agreed objectives
as stated in our Constitution of building a non-racial, non-sexist,
democratic and prosperous society, committed to addressing the grievances
of the past.

Third, our starting point must be that the members of the ANC, supported
by the rest of our population, must act firmly, and on a sustained basis,
to ensure that the ANC seriously addresses its weaknesses and
misdemeanours so that it honestly discharges its responsibilities in the
context of the Constitutional objectives I have just mentioned.

I mention specifically the ANC because all indications suggest that it
will continue to enjoy primacy as the governing party of choice, or the
single largest party, in terms of how our population will vote during our
national elections.

Fourth, it is vitally important that the masses of the people of South
Africa are mobilised, as happened during the difficult years of struggle
against apartheid, once more to adopt the posture that they are their own
liberators determined to ensure that South Africa develops into the
country for which they sacrificed and fought.

The question arises naturally as to whether all what I have just said
does not amount to nothing more than a pipedream, the mere expression of
an unrealisable wish!

In this regard I would like to state my very firm views.

The first of these, once again, is that it is indeed eminently possible
to ensure that sooner rather than later South Africa returns to the path
according to which it would live up to its promise as we defined this
earlier.

I make this firm assertion exactly because as our people have done
everything to defend and entrench our democratic system, so does the
possibility exist that precisely because of the vibrancy of our democracy
our people have the possibility, which they will exercise, to ensure that
our country and theirs lives up to its promise!

Put simply, it is through the exercise of their democratic rights by our
people that it will be possible for our country correctly to respond to
the concerns raised by the ANC Veterans and Stalwarts at the National
Consultative Conference.

In other words, the South African people must and will use the fact of
the democratic gains they made through struggle to use their democratic
power to defeat the negative elements which have taken control of the
governing party, the ANC, including as this relates to the reprehensible
phenomenon of state capture.

Already our Judiciary, and more recently the National Legislature, acting
within their Constitutional mandates, have demonstrated how our
democratic Constitutional system can and must respond to all efforts to
negate what our Constitution says, which has resulted in our country
failing to live up to its promise.

It remains for all the South African patriotic forces to ensure that all
other sections of our population act in a manner consistent with what the
Judiciary and the National Legislature have done thus to generate the
popular power to ensure that our country repositions itself to live up to
its promise.

An important part of what this will require will be that that broad and
united democratic response to ensure that South Africa lives up to its
promise, also addresses various matters of political, economic, social,
international and other policy.

When the ANC acceded to power in 1994 its policies as a governing party
were informed by two strategic policy documents.

These were the documents Ready to Govern and the ³Reconstruction and
Development Programme (RDP).

Obviously, after 1994 the ANC elaborated other policy documents among
others to respond to challenges which had come up during the process of
governance, but which did not depart from the fundamental propositions of
the ³Ready to Govern² and ³RDP² documents.

I refer here to such documents as ³State and Social Transformation² and
Growth, Employment and Redistribution: A Macroeconomic Strategy² (GEAR),
as well as a big complex of documented decisions taken by Government
effectively to give effect to all the documents and polices I have
mentioned.

I say all this to make the important point that since 1994 our democratic
order has taken a multiplicity of decisions exactly to spell out in
detail what democratic South Africa must do to live up to its promise!

In this context I would like to make the observation that one of the
weaknesses of the National Development Plan (NDP) is that it completely
fails to assess the Government policies which preceded the NDP, including
whether these correctly identified what had to be done to address our
country¹s historic challenge of the eradication of the legacy of
colonialism and apartheid.

The central point I would like to make is that when success is achieved
with regard to addressing the negative challenges facing the governing
party, the ANC, it will be possible to attend to such important matters
as:

elaborating a programme of action to implement the National Development
Plan, the NDP, which implementation must, among others, result in
achieving the objectives indicated in the Plan, such as high economic
growth rates, significant poverty reduction and meaningful and sustained
job creation;

I ensuring that the State and the State Owned Enterprises play their
proper role in terms of contributing to the implementation of the NDP,
freed from the corrosive clutches of corruption;

ensuring the proper functioning of our constitutional democracy
consistent with the manner in which our Constitutional Court explained
what our Constitution expects of all our governance institutions: this
would include restoring to their full health all the State institutions
which have been corrupted and weakened especially during the last decade;

strengthening the partnership between government, the corporate sector,
the trade unions and civil society to ensure the achievement of the goal
of a better life for all as indicated in the NDP; and,

activating the criminal justice system to discharge its
responsibilities with regard to stamping out corruption, including in its
manifestation as state capture, thus to help ensure that our people as a
whole, whatever their social status, practically respect the principle
and practice of the rule of law.

To conclude, I am therefore saying that yes, South Africa will once again
live up to its promise!

Confirming their decision to act, rather than stand and watch, in their
Declaration the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans said:

We acknowledge that our failure to address (the negative developments
emanating from ANC misdemeanours) timeously has contributed towards the
grave reputational damage, political and moral crisis facing our
organisation and country.

As we meet here in Cape Town, a mere ten (10) days before the start of
the 54th National Conference of the ANC, millions throughout our country
are engaged in various actions specifically to end Œthe grave
reputational damage, (the) political and moral crisis facing our
organisation and country¹ to which the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans
referred.

I am certain that the last decade has taught these millions the lesson
that directly in their own interest they must act to ensure that South
Africa lives up to its promise.

Thank you.

Fedusa

FEDUSA Marches on Parliament

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and its affiliates in the public health and rail passenger service; HOSPERSA, PSA and UNTU, alongside many other unions operating in aggressive working environments, will march to Parliament on Tuesday to demand that Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula deploy the army in the embattled Cape Town region over the festive season when attacks on Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and passenger trains are their highest.
FEDUSA President Godfrey Selematsela will lead the March to Parliament on 05 December 2017 between 11:00H and 14:00H alongside General Secretary Dennis George and the provincial leadership of thousands of HOSPERSA, PSA, UNTU and all other FEDUSA affiliated unions, under the slogan: #Workers’LivesMatter. The March will end at the gates of Parliament where a Memorandum of Demands will be handed over to the Ministers of Defence, Police and Labour, to urgently address the dire security situation. The Media Conference will held at SATU House in Cape Town Central as detailed below:
Date: 4 December 2017
Time: 14:00H
Venue: SATU House
76 Cantebury Street Cape Town (Opposite Fruit & Vegetable, Roeland Street)
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry.

Financiers Conference: Countries Seek Funds to Finish the $1.2b Regional Power Interconnector

A financers’ conference for the 2,300km Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (ZTK) power interconnector concluded yesterday, where the three project countries presented their status of implementation report and financial requirements to potential funders to complete the remaining sections.

The ZTK is a $1.2 billion priority project of the tripartite group comprising COMESA, East Africa Community and Southern Africa Development Community as well as the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) under the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the Africa Power Vision.

The project involves the construction of bidirectional high voltage power transmission lines and associated substations from Kabwe in Zambia through Tanzania and terminating at

Isinya in Kenya. The European Union under the 10th European Development Fund provided the initial financing of 4.4 million Euros for the preparatory activities of the project.

The Kenya section is fully financed and already under construction. Zambia’s requires $160m for the uncommitted parts and is already in advanced discussions with some financiers for its remaining sections. The World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have expressed interest to finance the Zambian sections. Tanzania is also in discussion with the World Bank and the French Development Bank (AFD) for $425m financing for the remaining parts.

In 2014, Energy Ministers from the three States signed an Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding which required that each country build infrastructure within its boundaries. Further, it required the countries have in place a Project Management Unit with Zambia undertaking the overall coordination. The countries were also required to establish trading mechanisms. The Ministers set December 2018 as the date of its commissioning.

The ZTK seeks to interconnect the three countries and create a link between the Southern African Power Pool and the East African Power Pool making it possible to transmit power from Cape to Cairo. Upon completion, the project is expected to enhance electricity trade, improve security of electricity supply and foster social-economic development and regional integration.

At the opening of the financiers’ conference, the Vice President of Zambia Mrs. Inonge Wina said there could never be any meaningful development if African countries ignored investment in power generation. In a speech presented by the Minister in the office of the Vice President Sylvia Chalikosa, the Vice President said African countries should continue investing in power generation to promote development in the continent.

“This project will stimulate and support new investment in power generation, transmission, distribution and rural electrification infrastructure,” she said.

Zambia has constructed the first 400km 330 KV line from Pensulo to Kasama including the expansion of the substations which were commissioned in 2015, according to Zambia’s Energy Minister David Mabumba. In his statement at the Conference, the Minister urged cooperating partners to provide financing for the remaining sections in Zambia.

The NEPAD Head of Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Programme Mr. Symerre Grey Johnson said lack of electricity in Africa remains one of the biggest barriers to the continent’s economic development and prosperity.

Mr. Johnson who also represented the COMESA Secretary General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya said Africa had immense green energy potential that could be economically exploited. Other speakers at the conference included the Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet of Zambia, Mr. Chistopher Mvunga and Mr. Henry Karanja representing the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya.

Development partners supporting the ZTK project include the European Union, the Africa Development Bank, the World Bank and EU. Others are the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and European Investment Bank a(EIB), China’s First Overseas Infrastructure Development (COIDIC) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).