AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
FORMER South African president Thabo Mbeki has made a passionate plea for the renewal of the ANC as a tribute to the political stalwart and hero Andrew Mlangeni, who was buried today.
In a virtual tribute delivered to mourners at Mlangeni’s funeral, held in Soweto, Mbeki supported the calls for a consultative conference to deal with the challenges facing the ANC and to assist the party to grapple with its role as a governing party.
Mlangeni, who passed away a week ago after a short illness, was buried at the Roodepoort Cemetery in Soweto, following a dignified service held in terms of strict COVID-19 restrictions.
This is an extract from Mbeki’s tribute:
“Since he passed away, and even now at this memorial service, many people have spoken, quite correctly, in tribute to him about his contribution to the struggle, about his value system, about his character. I must say that because of he was, this kind of person that all of us are describing, this kind of leader we are describing, this very moral person. He was very concerned about the ANC about his movement, the ANC. A movement that he and others built over decades and very concerned about what is happening in our country with regards to revolution for which he sacrificed his life
“And indeed he had a very cause to be concerned. I am sure all of us will recall one of the very important messages to come out of the 54th national conference of the ANC, where it said, for instance, that there is a loss of confidence in the ANC because of the social distance, of corruption, nepotism, arrogance, elitism, factionalism, manipulating organisational principles, abusing state power, putting self interest above the people and it said even of the strongest supporters of the ANC agree that the sins of incumbency are deeply entrenched. It was natural that our leader Comrade Mlangeni would be concerned about the ANC.
“We normally say, quite correctly as we must say today when people like him depart, that their spirit lives on, that we will emulate their legacy, that they should rest in peace. I think because we are talking here, laying to rest this particular person, this particularly distinguished patriot, this distinguished revolutionary Andrew Mlangeni, I that we must say those words with meaning, with conviction. That indeed he should rest in peace, that we should emulate his example and that his spirit would live on. I think we should say those things with feeling, with meaning, with the seriousness it must be because we then say to ourselves that we are saying these things because we are committing ourselves to the renewal of the ANC, which he built, about which he was concerned. When we say rest in peace, we say rest in peace because we will attend to these challenges.
It will not be possible to deal with all these various challenges that our country faces, including challenges of ethical leadership, unless we renew the ANC as was called for by the 54th
Conference. I think that if we do that, this will be a very very good farewell, a good memory, a good monument to such an outstanding person, such an outstanding revolutionary, such an outstanding leader that Andrew Mlangeni was.”
President #Ramaphosa: We have lost not only a great patriot, but a strident moral voice. Andrew Mlangeni was never afraid to confront the vices that can too easily engulf a nation emerging from a broken past.— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) July 29, 2020
PRESIDENT SADDENED BY PASSING OF STRUGGLE HERO ANDREW MEKETE MLANGENI— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) July 22, 2020
President @CyrilRamaphosa has learnt with deep sadness of the passing away overnight of the last remaining Rivonia Trialist and Isithwalandwe Seaparankwe Andrew Mekete Mlangeni.
President @CyrilRamaphosa has arrived for the Special Official Funeral Service of Bab’uAndrew Mlangeni. The President has described Isithwalandwe as a champion & exemplar of the values we need to build a South Africa that provides dignity & opportunity for all. #RIPAndrewMlangeni pic.twitter.com/xDjMbiPxUz— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) July 29, 2020