Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has called for the ANC to undergo serious introspection championed by “fresh leadership combined with the elders”, in a bid to figure out where it has gone wrong.
“The kind of introspection we need, will need a whole layer of fresh leadership combined with the elders who are still left in the organisation to revisit the whole question of the Freedom Charter, what has happened since 1994, and to go through all of the various stages of the presidents and find out where did we go so wrong,” Madikizela-Mandela told journalists at her old home in Vilakazi Street in Soweto today.
Making a rare public appearance following her 80th birthday celebrations last week, Madikizela-Mandela spoke very briefly on the current fees crisis at universities but also had something to say on the current state of the African National Congress.
“I am not the one to pronounce on the leadership in this country. I am one of them, you are asking me to self-critique. I am in the national executive committee of the ANC and look at the country today. I am the ANC, what is left of the ANC. We cannot pretend that we do not have problems, we cannot pretend things are not wrong in our country,” she said in response to a question on the current leadership of the ANC and how it had handled recent issues.
Specifically on the question of free education she alluded to the fact that perhaps the Freedom Charter was a bit ambitious and that amendments needed to be made that were befitting of the current South Africa.
“Where we write about proportional representation, was the system we adopted then the correct one?”
She called on the government to “meet students halfway,” with regard to their demands.
Bemoaning corruption, Madikizela-Mandela said that it was a great concern for her and others and that only the ruling party could find a way to quell it.
“And you need to get the governing party to perhaps go into retreat for a month and find answers about all the wrongs that we have done. We cannot pretend there is nothing wrong, there is a lot wrong and we are all worried.”