Supporters at ANC's centenary celebration. Picture: Gallo Images
The ANC centenary celebrations were met with mixed reactions by opposition parties and unions on Sunday.
After being boycotted by AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo and ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe, other liberation movements seemed to have an axe to grind, with Azapo and the PAC spoking out against the impression that only the ANC was involved in the struggle.
Strike Thokoane, secretary- general of Azapo, said: “At some point the torch was carried by the Black Consciousness Movement. They must recognise the many unsung heroes of BCM, PAC and ordinary people who hid and assisted us during the struggle.”
Lehlohonolo Shale, spokesperson for the PAC, said the money spent on the celebrations was not morally justifiable, given the inequality in society.
“It is unfortunate that millions were spent while our people continue to live in poor conditions,” said Shale.
Irvin Jim, Numsa general secretary, said the centennial of the ANC was a breath of fresh air towards forging unity and solidarity among the progressive forces in Africa, Latin America and the world in order to build a better, humane and egalitarian world order.
DA leader Helen Zille said: “These 100 years show an extraordinary record, without parallel, on the continent of Africa. If the ANC is saying this is much more than a celebration of the 100th birthday of a political party, we agree. It represents a history of progress, a quest for human rights and the advent of democracy after an arduous struggle that took more than 80 years.
“A hundred years is a long time. Governments have changed. New leaders have emerged, and the ANC has sought to change its character from a liberation movement to a ruling party. The sacrifices of countless ANC members and leaders played a major role in ending apartheid and the DA applauds these contributions.”