Originally published in ioL news
Struggle veteran and president of the Apostolic Faith Mission International, the Rev Frank Chikane, has launched a blistering attack on the current political leadership and called on leaders to rather emulate Nelson Mandela and the leaders of his time.
He made the comments during the keynote speech at a colloquium held in honour of Mandela and the ANC’s centenary celebrations at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu on yesterday, before Mandela’s 94th birthday celebrations today.
And in a message today, wishing Mandela well on his 94th birthday, and thanking him for his sacrifices, leadership and humility, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader and Member of Parliament Rev Kenneth Meshoe endorsed Chikane’s remarks.
“Unlike many politicians in government today, who are concerned about self promotion and personal gain rather than serving the people, Mr Nelson Mandela displayed selfless leadership that prioritised service delivery and addressing the needs of the people in our communities.
“When one looks at government leaders who spend huge amounts of money on promoting themselves in newspapers – whilst people are crying for basic services – one can easily conclude that they don’t care,” said Meshoe.
Chikane, former director-general in the presidency during Thabo Mbeki’s term, said former police commissioner Jackie Selebi – jailed for accepting bribes from convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti – started his relationship with Agliotti decades ago when Agliotti sponsored the ANC while it was still a banned organisation, reports iol news.
Chikane did not mention anyone by name, but launched a veiled attack on the ANC leadership. He received a standing ovation.
Chikane said Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu led in a way that could not be seen in the current leadership.
“That type of leadership was not for sale. People were prepared to die. There were no tenders, no houses, no fancy cars. But today – I’m not only talking about young cadres, but old cadres as well – the cadres struggle for power, for control for tenders. Once compromised, you can’t be independent in your thinking. Instead of taking the power to the people, they’re taking the power for themselves. Power is used for other interests, not for the people. Now there’s no external force of apartheid we’re fighting. It’s about self-interest, personal gain and the triple Fs – friends, family and factions. We can’t liberate our people if we deal with the triple Fs.
“A woman veteran called me and cried, saying: ‘It pains me to think that this is what my husband died for’,” said Chikane. “People with wounds are still alive and wonder: ‘Is this what we suffered for?’
“But if you want to know the DNA of the ANC, go back to Mandela or OR Tambo. We shouldn’t be corrupt. We shouldn’t serve ourselves. We shouldn’t use power for our own gain. The DNA is not for ourselves, but for the people.”
Chikane said Selebi was an example of an old cadre who could be “bought”: “Criminals planned your future. Check who visited us and people in Lusaka and who brought money to assist the ANC. That’s when Jackie Selebi made contact with Glenn Agliotti. Then he gave money… there was a thought that this was innocent, but it was not. It made us commodities. Once you’re compromised, you sell out the nation.”
In March Chikane released Eight Days in September about Mbeki’s ousting from the ANC in favour of Jacob Zuma. He praised Mbeki as a visionary and intellectual.
During the 1980s, the apartheid regime tried to kill Chikane, who led the SA Council of Churches from 1987 to 1994 and was vice-president of the United Democratic Front (UDF) between 1983 and 1985.