Dear friends and fellow South Africans,
In September of 1984, just days before I unveiled a tombstone to Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, I spoke at a prayer meeting in Lamontville and lamented that "Apartheid survives on the borrowed time which Black disunity gives to it." My words echoed those of Dr Seme himself who, in 1911, warned Africans that, "We are one people. These divisions, these jealousies, are the cause of all our woes and of all our backwardness and ignorance today." The animosity and feuds between us, he said, "must be buried and forgotten."
Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme was the founder of the African National Native Congress. He was also my uncle.
I grew up in the ANC Youth League at the University of Fort Hare. I was taught by Professor ZK Mathews, I knew Dr John Langalibalele Dube, I was mentored by Inkosi Albert Luthuli, and I worked closely with Mr Oliver Tambo and Mr Nelson Mandela. My personal history cannot be extricated from the history of the liberation struggle, or from that of the African National Congress.
Yet I have no doubt that some among the younger generation will wonder at my presence when I attend the centennial celebrations of the ANC in Bloemfontein this Sunday. Learners are not taught about the multi-strategy approach of the liberation struggle. Even university students remain in the dark about steps toward our freedom that were taken outside of the ANC.
The younger generation is seldom told that Inkatha was founded on the original ideals of the ANC, from which we have never deviated. They are not told that Inkatha adopted the colours and symbols of the ANC because it was created to pick up where the ANC left off when it was banned and when its leaders went into exile. Few know that I quoted Mandela wherever I went, when doing so was against the law, or that I held more rallies under the banner "Free Mandela" than anyone else in South Africa.