The South African people and its leadership have again shown that we can be exceptional. In the face of an election result in which no party received a majority, we have navigated stormy seas and reached the shoreline. While more work is needed to reach our final destination of establishing viable and sustainable national and provincial government, the Veterans League believes that we are steering the ship on the right path.

On behalf of the Veterans League, I want to express our wholehearted support and congratulations to Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa on his re-election as President of the country. We also extend our congratulations to the office bearers of Parliament: Thokozo Didiza as Speaker, Annelie Lotriet as Deputy Speaker, and Mdumiseni Ntuli as Chief Whip.

Further congratulations and well wishes are extended to the Provincial Premiers and Speakers who were elected across the nine provinces of our country. We are pleased by the significant number of women who have been elected into senior legislative positions, including that in Limpopo, the Premier, Speaker and Deputy Speaker are all women.

Today, a significant milestone in South African exceptionalism was achieved: the agreement on a Statement of Intent to establish a Government of National Unity (GNU).

We welcome the contents of this document, which commits to principles of respect for the constitution, the rule of law, non-racialism and non-sexism, good governance, a more just society, and a foreign policy that will create a just, peaceful, and equitable world. These principles, we believe, will not impede the fulfilment of the national democratic revolution.

The Statement of Intent demonstrates that the political parties involved do not see the GNU as merely a marriage of convenience or seek to use the GNU to advance ideological positions. Instead, it commits to interventions to improve the South African economy, create jobs and improve service delivery.

Hard work now needs to be done to develop a minimum programme that all parties can agree on and that will move our nation forward. This will give the ANC the opportunity to continue serving the people, and together, we can do more.

At the same time, we recognise that the GNU is a contested terrain, and we need to guard against forces within the GNU and outside of it that do not believe that they can gain from inclusive economic growth and nation-building. These include those who peddle racist views and false narratives and would like state capture and looting of state assets to continue.In the context of the setback that the ANC as a political party achieved in the national and provincial

elections, the Veteran’s League believe thorough introspection is needed. The election results showed us that the agenda of renewal needs to be intensified. The processes to address ANC members who have brought the organisation into disrepute must continue. So must the work of political education, building branches and building a modern political party infrastructure.

Realising the principles and ambitions of the GNU Statement of Intent is the work of all of us, not just the political leadership we have elected. As the Veterans League, we are committed to providing guidance and holding accountable the political representatives who have been sworn in. We will mobilise veterans’ political and technical skills to support the NEC and PECs as they navigate the stormy waters ahead.

As we commemorate Youth Month, in memory of the sacrifices that the young people of 1976 —the generation of lions—made, let us wish the GNU well as it seeks to strengthen our democracy.


Issued by Snuki Zikalala
082 561 3900