Remarks by Mduduzi Mbada special advisor to the Minister, Paul Mashatile on the occasion of the launch of the book entitled: “the future we chose". Liliesleaf; Rivonia

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31 Jan 2014

Directors of the Programme, Comrade Thoko Didiza
The Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, Comrade Jessie Duarte
The Editor of the Book, Comrade Busani Ngcaweni and your team
The Chairperson of AISA, Dr Siphamandla Zondi,
Mr Siphiwo Mahala and Mr Percy Mthimkhulu from Arts and Culture
The CEO of the Liliesleaf Museum, Nic Wolpe
Honoured Guests
Comrades and Friends:

Let me start by apologising for Minister Mashatile, who could not join us today. Mr Ngcaweni, Minister Mashatile, has received the copy of the book and he is very pleased with the book.
Programme Director, allow me firstly to congratulate Mr Busani Ngcaweni and all those who contributed to this book, for a job well done.

Mr Ngcaweni, we are proud to say, contained in this book are valuable insights, reflecting fresh and different perspectives, on the history of the oldest liberation movement in Africa; the African National Congress.

The book is a fitting tribute to mark the historic milestone of the centenary of the African National Congress.

As we have said before the African National Congress, as the oldest liberation movement in Africa, is not only part of our nation’s heritage but is also part of Africa’s heritage.

We are proud therefore to share this heritage not only among ourselves as South Africans, but also with the sister people of the African Continent, the Diaspora and indeed the peoples of the world.
We have no doubt that this book will assist us as we embark on this important task of sharing the ANC’s heritage with the rest of the world.

To us in the Department of Arts and Culture, this book is an important contribution to our ongoing work of crafting a new and inclusive narrative of where we come from as a nation and, to borrow from the book, on the future we chose.

Equally this book will strengthen our ongoing work of recording our nation’s heritage, in particular our liberation heritage.

The recording of our nation’s heritage, including our liberation heritage, is critical in ensuring that we preserve and promote it for the benefit of current and future generations.
The preservation and promotion of our heritage is at the centre of the work we are doing as a Department, including to promote social cohesion, nation building and national healing.
It is also part of our work to tell our own stories, from our own perspective as Africans, reflecting on our common history and heritage and our shared destiny.

This book has created space for new voices to provide a unique perspective and deepen further our understanding of the history of our country in general and the history of the African National Congress in particular.

Through this book we also celebrating African Scholarship and strengthening our contribution towards knowledge creation, management and dissemination.

For us the central theme captured in the book reaffirms our understanding that; while the South African struggle for national liberation could have easily become a struggle against a particular race, it evolved to embrace humanity as one and diversity as a source of strength.

Indeed, the liberation struggle as led by the African National Congress has long placed the achievement of national unity as one of its key objectives, paving the way for the work we are doing currently to build a National Democratic Society; that is truly united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous.

This is the future we have chosen for ourselves, as South Africans! This is the future that various essays in this book articulate so eloquently.

Programme Director, we will continue to partner with all those who can assist as we write an inclusive history of our country; that speaks to our common heritage and our shared values.
Let us continue to tell our own stories. Let us document them. Let us preserve and promote our heritage.

We must do all of this so that we do not forget where we come from; we do not repeat mistakes of the past and so that current and future generations can draw lessons and inspiration from the road we have travelled.

I wish you all a pleasant evening.

Thank you.