Johannesburg - Shadowy false prophets are intent on crippling the ANC tripartite alliance in the same way that Nongqawuse duped the Xhosa into killing their cattle back in 1856-57.
On Sunday, at the memorial service for ANC MP and trade unionist Crosby Moni, National Union of Mineworkers representative Peter Bailey and ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte warned that there were those who “want to kill Cosatu, the SACP and the ANC”.
Just more than a week ago, South Africa’s largest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA, broke away from the ANC.
“This woman, Nongqawuse, was used by the British to… tell the people to destroy their crops. She misled the people,” said Bailey, adding that nowadays similar prophets of doom wanted to destroy the tripartite alliance.
Nongqawuse claimed that the spirits told her that the Xhosa should destroy their crops and kill their cattle herds, so that the ancestors would return and the colonists and the British would be swept into the sea. When many obeyed her prophecies, it caused widespread starvation.
Speaking later at the memorial held at the Vosloorus Civic Centre, Duarte said the alliance could only be broken “if we want to break it” and reiterated that there were false prophets who wanted to undo the alliance.
Moni died on December 22 from malaria, which he is believed to have contracted while on a trip to Mozambique.
All of these who spoke at his memorial praised his leadership skills, spoke of his ability to listen and cited his humility.
“We were still expecting a lot from him,” said SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.
Referring to Moni’s dedication, Duarte called on members to root out and expose greed within the alliance.
“If you are a trade union leader and you go on holiday in the Caribbean, don’t be two-faced; open up and tell us about it,” she said.
“There are those who say BEE doesn’t work only after they have used it to make themselves rich.”
Nzimande warned against what he called the “Chiluba phenomenon”, which he said was what Moni was concerned about.
The Chiluba phenomenon, he told the audience, referred to former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba, a trade unionist who, when he came to power, forgot his working-class roots.
“He used the trade union as a base until he got political office… we call on all ANC and SACP supporters to defeat this Chiluba phenomenon,” said Nzimande.
He and Duarte called on the audience to support the ANC in the upcoming elections, reminding them of the work the party had done for the poor. Nzimande took a swipe at former president Thabo Mbeki at the same time.
“After the disaster of the Aids denialists, Zuma has increased life expectancy in South Africa by four years through ARVs,” said Nzimande.