President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa and the unity

Our national democratic revolution needs a distinguished rare calibre leadership of our society

Escrito por: Yelitza Arias
15/08/2023

First and foremost, we applaud the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, under the stewardship of our President, Cde Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, for reaffirming the principled political decision, for the implementation of the revolutionary project, of the unity and the renewal of our movement. This is so because theory teaches us that every age of human civilisation carries in it the seeds of its own decay.

The important question of the unity and the renewal of our liberation movement, has become a catchphrase in the vocabulary of most within our ranks and society in general. What we all need to ascertain is whether we are on the same page with regard to our theoretical understanding of this question.

The founding father of the Vietnamese nation, Cde Ho Chi Minch, says without unity and renewal, we would be like an orchestra, in which the drums play one way and the horns another. Our inability to accomplish this strategic objective, will make it impossible for us to lead the masses and the revolution.

History has become a testimony, that in the coarse of any revolutionary situations, there come sometimes rare moments, where the liberation movement has to learn from the masses in order to teach the masses. The leadership responsibility of our generation, is to ensure that our liberation movement, does not loose the strategic initiative, of being a leader of the struggles of our people.

The German philosopher, Karl Marx, in his profound theoretical thesis, the reflections of the young man, brings to the fore, the question of the kind of leadership we need, to transform the world, for the common good of humanity. He reckons this question, to have distinguished mankind, the most privileged over the rest of creation.

In the seminal work, he calls those men the greatest, who have ennobled themselves, by working for the common good, and that experience acclaims as happiest, the men who has made the greatest the number of people happy.

He says” If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of us all work for mankind, no burdens can bow us down, because they are the sacrifices for the benefit of all. Then we shall experience no petty limited selfish joy but our happiness will belong to millions and over our ashes will be shed the hot tears of noble people”.

With profundity, the author of the Communist Manifesto, sets high the barometer, by acclaiming the historical necessity, of the importance of leadership responsibility in society, as an instrument for achieving human progress. The reason why he calls those men the greatest, who have ennobled themselves, for working for the common good of humanity.

The fundamental question, of the kind of leadership we need, to serve for our common good, is as old as the ancient archipelago. It is a question, that has evolved over ages, with the civilisation of human society.

The hallmarks of such an ideal leadership we require, are high moral virtues, integrity, dedication, audacity, selflessness and loyalty to serve in the best interests of the people. This is essentially about the gesture, that leadership is an a opportunity afforded to us by the people, to learn how to serve them.

Over historical periods of the development of human society, there are moments of touching examples of leadership, from which we can draw lessons and experiences, on how to take forward the objectives of the noble goals, for the achievement of human civilisation. Moments of profound significance in the long journey of our struggles for the achievement of a better world for all.

During the earliest period of transition from the ancient kingdom of Rome to the Roman Republic, a historic moment, which still remain to this day, an epitome of a true testimony, to the chain of some of unprecedented feats of loyalty and dedication, to the cause of human freedom, changed the coarse of history.

The beautiful story of one of the most celebrated generals of the Roman republic, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, remains a profound inspiration to the generations of man, about the kind of leadership we want, in order to transform the world into a better home for mankind. His glorious ethics and determination to serve the people, contributed immensely towards preserving, the democratic values of the world political system.

After the revolution which marked the abolition of the powers of the Roman monarchy, which heralded the establishment of the new political system of the senate, which allowed both the patricians( nobility) and the plebeians (peasants), to participate in shaping the laws of the new republic, he was, as a result of his remarkable virtues of integrity, requested to rule by decree during emergencies, when the stability of the republic was under threat.

During all occasions of the term of his absolute rule as a conferred dictator, did not for a single moment, violated the powers given to him by the senate, by promoting his self interests, at the expense of the interests of the people of the new republic. He had the opportunity to reverse back the gains of democracy of the people, but true to his stature, as a humbled servant of the people, returned back power to the people, after completion of his term.

Over two centuries ago, two of the most decorated revolutionary leaders, who liberated the whole of Latin America from Spanish and Portuguese colonialism, meet at the conference of Quayaquil, to give analysis to the war situation in the region. The one the hero of the South and protector of Peru, San Martin, and the other, the liberator of the whole of the Latin American hemisphere, Simon Bolivar.

As a gesture of solidarity, the protector of Peru, San Martin, sent a contingent of the army of men to assist Simon Bolivar during his last battles to liberate Ecuador and Colombia. After the defeat of the Spanish army, Bolivar wrote a letter of appreciation to Martin in which he expressed the following words of gratitude”.

Upon arriving at the capital, after the triumphs obtained by the arms of Peru, it is my greatest satisfaction to relay to you, the most sincere testimonies of the gratitude, with which the people of Colombia have received the worthy liberators of Peru, who came with their victorious arms to lend their aid in the campaign, that has liberated Colombia and this most interesting capital, worthy of the protection of all of America.

But our tribute of gratitude is not just homage to the government and the army of Peru, but the liveliest desire to lend the same, and even stronger aid to Peru. I have the greatest pleasure to announce to you, that the war in Colombia is over, and that her army is ready to march wherever her brothers call for it, and most particularly to the homeland of our southern neighbours, to whom for many titles, we must prefer as our first friends and brothers in arms”.

Later in few days, San Martin, replied to the letter of Simon Bolivar as follows” Peru is the last battlefield left in America and it must unite all those who wish to obtain the honours of the final triumph, against those who have been defeated in the entire continent. I accept your generous offer and Peru will receive with enthusiasm and gratitude all troops that you can spare to accelerate the campaign and forbid the vicissitudes of fortune to have even the smallest influence.

I hope that Colombia will be satisfied for her arms to powerfully contribute to the ending of the war in Peru, it is necessary to grandly combine the interests that the people have entrusted us with, so that a solid and stable prosperity, may better show them the benefits of their independence.

Before the 18th, I will depart from the port of Callao, and disembark in Quayaquil, so that I can march to greet you in Quito. My soul fills with thoughts and joy when I contemplate that moment in which we shall see each other, and I think that America will not forget the day of our embrace”.

After receiving the letter from San Martin, Bolivar wrote another one in which he says” It is with greatest satisfaction, most worthy friend and sir, that I give you for the first time, the title that for a long time, my heart has bestowed upon you. I call you friend and this shall be the only name we will use for the rest of our lives, because friendship is the only bond befitting brothers in arms, enterprise and opinions; and so I congratulate myself, because you have honoured me with the expression of your affection.

A few hours are, as you say, enough for military deals, but they shall not be enough to satisfy the passion of friendship, that will finally start to enjoy the joy of knowing the dear object, that before was loved only through opinion, only through fame”.

The great lesson here is that, even if the two leaders had vast differences on how to conduct the struggles against the Spanish and Portuguese domination in Latin America, they were determined to withstand them, for the sake of the unity of the revolution, for the freedom and dignity of the people.

San Martin was at the time the President of Chile, the protector of Peru and commanding a huge respect from the millions of the people in the southern tip of the region. He did not become individualistic, greedy and uncontrollable love to the honey of power, but instead resigned, and declared Simon Bolivar his leader and the leader of the struggle of the people of the whole of Latin America.

Another historic episode, which remains a rare instance of an example of the kind of leadership we want, was when just after the triumph of the Cuban revolution, the Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro, and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Blas Roca, agreed on the process of bringing together all revolutionary forces, for the sake of the unity of the revolution.

It was during the emotional occasion of this rare historic gathering, when Blas Roca, as a gesture of the importance of unity, conferred to Fidel Castro the glorious red flag of the vanguard party, and he instead, entrusted the flag, into the hands of two standard bearers, Raúl Castro and Che Guevara, knowing well that the two, will know how to preserve the it better, and to keep it high, at the expense of their own dear lives and survival.

The two leaders, Fidel and Blas Roca, became the true guardians, not only of the unity of the vanguard party, but equally, of the unity of the revolution and the people.

Of the unity of the people against American aggression, unity of the people for territorial integrity and independence, and unity of the struggles for the socialist future.

The historic ceremony indeed demonstrated the importance of unity, as a precondition for the success of a revolution. The gesture by Blas Roca, of placing the glorious flag of the Communist Party of Cuba into the hands of Fidel, was one of the rare occasions to symbolize the necessity of unity, in the revolutionary struggle for liberation.

The leadership and the membership of our glorious movement, the alliance partners and the entire progressive forces in our country, have to learn lessons from these great episodes of human struggles. There is nothing as more important than the unity of our liberation movement and the unity of the people of our country.

The ANC is the only political formation which represents the aspirations of all sectors of our society. The ANC is the only political formation capable of leading the struggle of our people for socio economic transformation.

I therefore take this opportunity to implore upon the leadership of our movement, especially Cdes President Thabo Mbeki, Kgaleme Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, to support the leadership of the sitting President Cyril Ramaphosa.

It is in the best interests of the future of the people of our country and the continent, that we ensure that our national liberation movement withers the storms and achieve the set objectives for unity and renewal.

There is a worrisome growing phenomenon, of some from within the ranks of our movement, after serving terms of their leadership responsibilities, of throwing stones back into the courtyard, of the very same fortress of our struggles, to undermine all efforts for the unity of our revolution and the people. Even to collaborate with forces of reaction, to undermine the leadership role of the ANC in society.

I equally implore on the sitting President of the ANC and the republic, Cde Cyril Ramaphosa, to ensure that at the end of his second term, that he equally raise to the occasion, and support the coming leadership of the movement. This is the task entrusted to all of us by the revolution, to ensure that we safeguard the future of the people of our country.

The ANC is not just a political movement representing the wishes and the aspirations of the people of our country, but of the whole of the African continent and the world of humanity. We can therefore not allow it perish in the hands of our generation.

We cannot afford to betray those noble men and women, who for over centuries of our struggles, paid the ultimate supreme price, for the liberation of the human race. Tears of the departed do not dry easily on the sand.

We have to follow the contours of their exemplary leadership and determination to serve the people for the better. A flower cannot blossom without sunshine and a revolution cannot live without its ideas.