Nqakula: ANC secretary-general cannot be just any tokoloshe or tortoise

Charles Nqakula speaks at the Malcomess Mgabela Memorial lecture at the Guild Theatre.
Charles Nqakula speaks at the Malcomess Mgabela Memorial lecture at the Guild Theatre.
Image: ALAN EASON

ANC veteran Charles Nqakula came out guns blazing in East London on Tuesday night, saying during the fight against apartheid, ANC secretary-generals were leaders who understood politics and not just "any tortoise or tokoloshe".

He was delivering the Malcomess Mgabela Memorial Lecture at the East London Guild Theatre that was organised by non-government organisation, Articurate African Expressions.

"You can't take just anyone to be the secretary general of the ANC because a secretary general is the custodian of the political programme of the ANC.

"You can't just take a tortoise or a tokoloshe to be the secretary general. You can't lie and say a tokoloshe is a giant," he said to laughter and cheers.

He described himself as not the brightest of men, saying it was puzzling that he sometimes understood some political issues more than an ANC secretary-general.

He did not mention any names but his comments could be seen as taking a swipe at incumbent Ace Magashule, who has publicly contradicted President Cyril Ramaphosa on issues like the proposed nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.

Nqakula said he was happy that hundreds of people, especially the youth attended the lecture as that they would hear first hand "unadulterated history of the country" from some of the people who were involved in the fight against apartheid.


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