Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday night left a small group of dignitaries in awe after he delivered a short, yet powerful, speech on the state of South Africa and its transition from apartheid.
Gordhan was the guest speaker at the release of a local documentary entitled 'Promises and Lies: The ANC, Exile & the Project of Freedom".
Here are our top five quotes from Gordhan's speech:
- "...Because life in South Africa, certainly life as an activist, must be about hope. It must be about aspirations. It must be about creating better lives on a continuous basis for ordinary folk that we are supposed to be serving in public office".
- "What we had was promises and aspirations. What we perhaps did not anticipate adequately are some of the difficulties in building a new country; of being self-generators of new paradigms and of changing our orientation in the face of challenges as they actually emerge in real life. It's that challenge that we face in many ways today."
- "What should keep us going now is the renewed spirit of the people outside: a spirit which says we do not accept lies; we don't want to be misled and misinformed; we do want to hear the truth about what is going on at the moment and what people's intentions are and we do want, most importantly, to be shapers of our own destiny in an active sense; not just in a once-in-five-year ballot sense."
- "The word politician now is associated with the worst forms of opportunism...and being opportunistic means you lose all sense of orientation, all sense of principle and you become hyper-flexible...in order to find whatever gap one can to be secure politically."
- "One of the things that we have to confront is that a good history in an organisation be it a commercial organisation or a political one as we have in the case of the ANC, there is no guarantee of a good future; that good futures are built on sound leadership and on a sound understanding of new realities... and part of that new reality is to understand that organisations left on their own do decay; they can even rot in the process as well."