It was the face of Oliver Reginald Tambo peering down from a banner in a hall in East London over the weekend as his ANC conducted regional elections in its own unique way.
Chairs and bottles flew from one side to the other, people were assaulted, teargas and rubber bullets were fired outside. What Tambo would have thought, had he been around to witness the violence, nobody knows.
But what is certain is that the slogan underlying the ANC’s declaration of 2017 as the Year of Oliver Reginald Tambo – “Let us deepen unity!” – rings hollow.
The organisation has never before in its history been so divided – and never has violence been so close to the surface in so many areas in it.
The reason is that the ANC’s national elective conference in December is looming and the realisation is sinking in for many people that their faction could lose out in those ballots.
The main contenders for the position of ANC president (and then president of the country) are deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the anointed successor of Jacob Zuma.
In recent weeks, the Dlamini-Zuma campaign has suffered a number of setbacks. In some provinces, there have been legal challenges to existing provincial executive committees who, in the main, are supporters of Jacob Zuma.
In East London, though, the province was snatched from Dlamini-Zuma by triumphant supporters of Ramaphosa, despite attempts to disrupt proceedings by the other camp.
The violence and chaos which characterised the East London conference are a sign of things to come, experts have told us. And that sign points to more violence, more court cases, possibly even political assassinations.
The country is in danger of being torn apart before our very eyes. ANC leaders be warned: don’t let your battles wreck our country.