Anti Apartheid stalwart and former Speaker of the National Parliament Dr.Frene Ginwala delivers the Chief Albert Luthuli 7th Memorial Lecture held at the University of Kwazulu-Natal ( UKZN) Westville Campus in Durban yesterday.Interacting with Ginwala is Chief Albert Luthuli's daughter Albertina Luthuli,and in the back is UKZN Vice Chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba.PHOTO:RAJESH JANTILAL

 

ANC stalwart Dr Frene Ginwala wept on Saturday when she talked about how the ANC had failed to reduce poverty while allowing corruption to eat into its moral fibre.

The former and longest-serving Speaker of the National Assembly said she was ashamed of how the ANC government had become.

“I’m ashamed that we have not reduced poverty and the tremendous damage it has caused,” said an emotionally charged anti-apartheid activist.

Ginwala who was delivering the 7th Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus said while the ANC was new in government in 1994 soon after the Codesa negotiations, the party was no longer new.

“We should have done better. We don’t deserve to be elected after failing to listen to the people. Why are people crying? Why are we not listening? Why are universities not engaging in dialogue?” said Ginwala.

The former UKZN chancellor said not all was lost though.

She said she had hope in the ANC government.

“There’s some hope though. In Mangaung during the ANC national conference we established an integrity committee meant to restore values, look at the activities of tenderpreneurs as you call it. I hope you will see the results soon,” she said.

The octogenarian said it might have gone without notice, but that National Treasury recently issued a long list of people and businesspeople prohibited from getting government work.

“Now there’s a mechanism, it is not going to solve the problem, but at least it is addressing it,” she said.

Ginwala bemoaned the rampant killing of children and asked why people rape and what was society doing about it.

“I don’t have all the answers, but it is time for mobilisation. We should bring back those values that won us international recognition. Where are those values? We should honour our leaders like Chief Albert Luthuli by bringing back values,” she said.

Ginwala, who was in exile for 31 years, threw down the gauntlet to various levels of society urging them to bring value to the freedom attained in 1994.

She reminded all and sundry where efforts to bring about freedom in South Africa had started even before the ANC was established. - Sunday independent