ANC 1st Deputy Secretary-General Nomvula Mokonyane has called on fellow party members not to turn contesting for positions into a rivalry.
She said when she was contesting for the position in Nasrec last December with the late ANC MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson the former parliamentarian was not bitter after losing out.
Instead after the results were announced Mokonyane and Joemat-Pettersson went shopping in the Nasrec precinct where they each bought the T-shirt of Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Mokonyane, ANC 2nd deputy secretary-general Maropene Ramokgopa and Cosatu national treasurer Freda Oosthuysen paid tribute to Joemat-Pettersson at her memorial service in Kimberley on Wednesday.
They said she had joined the Struggle for freedom from a young age.
Mokonyane said after the Nasrec conference Joemat-Pettersson showed what leadership was about.
Even though she lost the position from Mokonyane she did not regard her as an enemy.
“After the results were announced we went to Hall 5 together with Tina, actually she found me there because she asked to see me. We went shopping, we bought the T-shirts of Winnie Mandela and typical of Tina she wiped my lips because my mouth was smudged. She said ‘my sister get out your phone and switch on your camera and wipe your lips’. That is how we broke the ice. I then said I am going to need you, I am now the (deputy secretary-general). I said I am going to need you so that you can help me. She said ‘I am going to help you’,” said Mokonyane.
She said many people in Nasrec who witnessed the occasion were surprised because they had just contested for the position of 1st deputy secretary-general of the ANC.
Mokoyane said this was a lesson for many members in the ANC.
“We spent a lot of time and I think for many of you who contest for leadership never turn this thing into a rivalry. She understood that it was a process in the ANC, but it was a moment and that moment had come and gone and we needed each other moving forward,” said Mokonyane.
Ramokgopa said Joemat-Pettersson had been active in the rebuilding of the ANC Women’s League.
She said Joemat-Pettersson was also outspoken in the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) about the need to rebuild the women’s league.
It is in this context that the NEC had agreed to set up a task team that was going to prepare for the national elective conference of the ANCWL that will take place next month.