the African National Congress,
Comrade Jacob Zuma
President of the Republic of South
Africa, Comrade Thabo Mbeki
Leadership of the ANC and of
Members, Comrades, Compatriots,
I thank the ANC
for organising this rally to
celebrate our 90th birthday.
I would be nothing
without the ANC. The struggle had
been my life and the ANC led that
I thank the ANC
for having given meaning to my 90
years on this planet, in this
country we all love so dearly.
And I ask you
today: do not celebrate an
individual. Celebrate the
achievements and reaffirm the values
of a great organisation, one that
has led for almost a hundred years.
reaffirm the principle of collective
leadership and inclusiveness. Let no
individual, section, faction or
group ever regard itself as greater
than the organisation and the common
good of all our people.
promotion of unity – within the
organisation, amongst our allies, in
the nation at large and amongst all
our people. Our nation comes from a
history of deep division and strife;
let us never through our deeds or
words take our people back down that
tradition of open debate, criticism,
discussion and respect for
democracy. We fought hard and
sacrificed much for this democracy.
Protect, defend, consolidate and
advance democracy – within the
organisation and in national life.
Let us give the lead in
demonstrating our respect for the
institutions of our democracy - both
in our actions and words.
reaffirm our fundamental commitment
to creating a better life for all,
particularly the poor and
marginalised. Poverty and
deprivation in our midst demean all
of us. Let us mobilise in one great
co-operative national effort the
enormous energy of our society in
order to overcome and eliminate
poverty. We came together as a
nation to end the scourge of
apartheid. Today we are challenged
to end poverty and all its attendant
nobility of our ideals of creating a
non-racial and non-sexist society.
Let us redouble our efforts to fully
realise the ideal of a democratic
state and society that secures to
all their birthright without
distinction of colour, race, sex or
belief. Let us live that
non-racialism and non-sexism in our
every day, deed and word.
You are the
inheritors of a great organisation,
one that has led for almost a
century. It is now in your hands to
uphold the best and the noblest of
Now – as much as
ever in our history – we require
disciplined leaders and members with
respect for their organisation, who
care equally for all South Africans
and for all people who live within
our borders. Let there be peace and
I wish you well. I
thank you once more.