Political contestation and the fight for territorial political space took a rather concerning turn when main political parties in South Africa had a tussle over the legacy and the name or to put it on relevant the brand Nelson Mandela. To many on the political sphere this was not surprising given how the political territory and success can be leveled against a certain individual.
The African National Congress (ANC) has always been associated with the name Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela for many decades, Mandela was born in 1918 just six year after the formation of the then South African Native National Council (SANNC), a political liberation movement which was later known as the African National Congress, where Mandela formed its youth wing called the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), together with the struggle icons like Walter Sisulu and others.
Worldwide people cannot speak about Mandela without associating him with the ANC, the ANC became the launch pad for Mandela’s political stardom and conviction, the ANC was inherently entrenched in his thinking and in shaping his ideology towards embracing the principles of the ANC that of non-racialism; non sexist and of a South African that is based on the political direction of the Freedom Charter drawn at the Congress of the People in Kliptown in the year 1955.
Mandela in his own words once said that the the day he leaves the world of the living he will in heaven look for the nearest branch of the ANC which he thus join without any hesitation, this to me marked a symbolization of how deep rooted the party politics of the ANC was cultured in him, indeed when he sadly left us last year in December, no one of us would have doubted that indeed he lived on his words in joining Govan Mbeki; Walter Sisulu; Oliver Tambo in strengthening the regiments of the ANC. in heaven.
Opposition parties mainly the Democratic Alliance were up in arms in claiming that the Mandela legacy belongs to all South Africans, and the ruling cannon necessarily and entirely claim his legacy, they further went to allege that was pinning their hopes in elections victory on the Mandela name and renowned reputation, as expected the ANC came out with guns blazing accusing the DA of political opportunism and cheap politicking based on chasing in on the brand and name which has nothing to do with colonial masters.
Hence my assertion and believe that to disassociate the ANC from Mandela will only serve to mean that the our history will now be re-written an attempt the DA and other parties will fail dismally. The ANC has every right to advocate Mandela’s principles; the ANC is better positioned to even defend the legacy Tata left; the ANC is right to dismiss all attempts by anti-revolutionists for them to lay claim un-deservingly to the Mandela legacy.
in this second transition under the leadership f President Jacob Zuma, the ANC government is ready to deliver the country into a radical socio-economic transformation environment which will redress the triple ills our country faces, that of inequality; unemployment and poverty. The five priorities of the ANC manifesto will make sure that the legacy of the former ANC president and stalwart Nelson Mandela lives ON.
*Teboho Modise writes in his personal capacity*