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Witwatersrand, Johannesburg - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe hopes his biography will encourage people to question the status quo, he said on Thursday.
“It is important the book should raise the questions that pull us out of our comfort zones,” he told a packed hall at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg.
He was speaking at the launch of “Kgalema Motlanthe: A political biography” by Ebrahim Harvey.
Motlanthe said he had agreed to the writing of the book after a friend persuaded him that as a political activist he would not find the time to write a book himself.
He told how he was inspired by a school in Italy that prepares toddlers for school using modern technology.
This would work well in South Africa. “Many of our problems arise because of rigidity.... Yet, we live in a world that's ever-changing. These children will learn that things are always changing.”
This was met by applause and laughter as the audience rolled their hands in the sign used to indicate a soccer substitution.
This sign has been used by those supporting Motlanthe's election as African National Congress president at the party's national conference in Mangaung in December.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, sitting on the podium, laughed.
Appearing surprised, Motlanthe tried to interrupt.
“The irony is really lost on me,” he said.
“This is about science, it's not about names of places. I can see that you are trapped within the geographical name of Mangaung.”
Motlanthe said he would like his tombstone to read: “Others made suggestions and he implemented.”
Among those in the audience were senior ANC members Tokyo Sexwale, Mathews Phosa, Ahmed Kathrada, Trevor Manuel and human rights lawyer George Bizos. - Sapa