June 26, 2015, marks the 60th anniversary of the ANC Freedom Charter adopted by South African in 1955, a foundation for a national culture based on a set of values that reinforces the new constitutional dispensation. Marking the anniversary is in remembrance of a country that remains committed to the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. The African National Congress (ANC) governing party, do not adhere to the founding grounds of the freedom charter, and after 21 years of democracy have failed miserably.
It is the primary objective of members to declare solemn allegiance and abide by the aims of the ANC as set out in the Constitution, the Freedom Charter and any other adopted policy generated by the party. When members join the ANC, they take an oath to respect the values and adhere to principles of having no motives of material or personal gain through membership. It is a promise to work and utilize skills within the organization make the ANC an effective instrument of liberatio, and to defend the unit, its integrity and principles as well as avoid disruption and factionalism.
During 1955 the ANC (whose Freedom Charter’s 60th anniversary is being celebrated this year) a banned terrorist group in South Africa, sent out volunteers to collect “freedom demands” from the people. It was a system to give all citizens an opportunity to express what freedom would be needed to ensure liberty for all. A final document listing the requirements of freedom for all was implemented on June 26. Freedom to earn a living wage, land for the landless people, free education and equality for all races were included. The freedom charter is a notable document that demands a commitment to a non-racial country, the platform of the ANC. Within the text, human rights, labor rights and nationalization are called for in a democracy.
The Freedom Charter is a mandate for the ANC government of South Africa to continue to advance human dignity, equality and liberty, as well as accountability and the realization of democratic values through legislative roles. The ANC are in the fifth term of ruling South Africa, and so far this has been a vibrant, robust and messy governance. The oversight and accountability are missing. There is no efficient and responsive public participation, nor any intentions to stop corrupt management.
The constitutional responsibility is ignored, and respect for human rights and justice of the law is in shambles. Good governance is missing, and corruption has replaced the dignified freedom charter mandate. The ANC government will remind members, the 62 percent ignorant masses, about the struggle for freedom. The wrong or nonexistence of performance by members of the government are ignored, and only the liberation struggle is remembered. The years of hiding and exclusions from South Africa, where members such as President Jacob Zuma, Mandela, Mbeki and others left South Africa, as well as family and friends, to train and unite recruits for the liberation movement is the story that is foremost in the minds of the masses. It is the sad story of how loyal and devoted these members were, and the sacrifices made to free the majority that gains momentum to keep the corrupt rulers in power.
There is no freedom charter mandate to work toward, it is the constant reminder of the struggle years that garners votes for the ANC government. The constant failing of service deliveries, the high unemployment level and the plight of the poor homeless people grows and continues to spiral into untold misery. In 21 years, the rapid decline of good governance has diminished bringing South Africa into a disrupted evil crime ridden country. The majority does not agree; it is the freedom, the struggle, and the risks the ANC have taken that matters the most.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
ANC. Org – Freedom Charter
Photo Courtesy of Schwingeninswitzerland Wikimedia – Public Domain License