The haunting words of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa) wafting across the massive Johannesburg Expo Centre today at the opening of the most important conference in the ANC’s history, are an emotional reminder, even to the non-religious, that this country is blessed in resources, but cursed in our forms of government.
Colonialism and apartheid left a trail of destruction, which will take generations to repair.
And, after our first stuttering steps on the road to democracy, we are again in danger of being destroyed as a unified country.
That is the challenge that you, comrades of the ANC, face this weekend at your elective conference.
Do you, as the supposed representatives of the people of South Africa (because you are the country’s majority party) choose to put your party above your country?
Do you say that it will continue to be business (and corruption) as usual? Do you agree with the leaders who say our problems are the fault of someone, or something, else?
Or do you think about your children and your grandchildren and the place you want to leave to them? Will you be brave enough to say: enough!
Let us remake this country into the South Africa that Albert Luthuli, OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela dreamed it could be.
Whatever you do, sadly, will not please everybody.
We can see the possibility of angry and ugly reactions from that camp, which turns out to be the loser in the race for the ANC presidency.
And that will be the time when your political maturity, comrades, will be needed more than ever before. We cannot allow brother to turn on brother or sister to turn on sister.
Peace is too precious to squander. So, comrades, we wish you wisdom.
We entrust you with our future. Please remember that in all you do at the Johannesburg Expo Centre.